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Lawn Mowers – Danger of Personal Injury to Children

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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The State of Indiana has recently focused on the dangers of lawn mowers to children and for good reason. Between 2003-2008 in Indiana, 38% of all serious lawn-mower-related injuries that required hospitalization involved children 16-year-old and younger. Almost 1/4 of these injured involved children ages 6 and younger. Dr. Joan Duwve, medical director of the Injury Prevention Program at the Indiana State Department of Health, stated child injures caused by lawn mowers could be prevented by keeping children away from the areas of the yard that are being mowed.

Many of the lawn mower injuries are to the legs, feet or toes of children and are caused by the lawn mowers’ sharp rotated blades that can cut through skin and bones. Lawn mowers can also get relatively hot after being used and touching the lawn mower, even after it has been turned off, can burn children. Children can also be the cause of lawn-mower-related injuries. Children playing close to lawn mowers run the risk of slipping and falling into the mower blade. Children can also be injured while operating the lawn mower if they are too young to do so. According to the National Agricultural Safety Data, a lawn mower rotary blade spins at 2,000-4,000 revolutions per minute, the equivalent to 100-200 mph. It is important to know how to quickly disengage the clutch and stop the engine, young children may be unsuitable to do such a task.

The American Acadmey of Pediatrics offered these safety tips to parents:

1. While mowing the lawn, keep young children away.
2. Do not allow children younger than 16-years-old to operate ride-on lawn mowers and do not allow children younger than 12-years-old to operate walk-behind mowers.
3. While operating a lawn mower, wear sturdy shows, protective ear wear and eyewear
4. Before mowing, pick up objects such as stones and toys from the lawn.
5. Use only a power mower with a control that stops the mower if the handle is let go; be certain that the control is never disconnected.
6. An adult should adjust the blade settings.

To read more about this topic see Lawn mower safety.