READ: Lawn mower safety guidelines from University of Michigan children's hospital
Health officials at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital offer these lawn mower safety guidelines:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children be at least 12 years of age before they use a walk-behind power mower and 16 years of age to use a riding lawn mower. When they are old enough, teach your child how to safely use a lawn mower, and watch them until you are sure they can manage the task alone.
To make lawn mowing safer:
- Do read the lawn mower manual and the instructions on the mower.
- Do verify the grass catcher, all protective guards and safety equipment are in the correct place and your mower is in good repair.
- Do make sure children are indoors or a safe distance away from the area you are mowing.
- Do wear durable closed-toe shoes and close-fitting clothes, safety goggles and hearing protection are also recommended.
- Do clear the mowing area of objects such as twigs, stones and toys.
- Do stop mower and wait for blades to stop before looking at a lawn mower to fix it.
- Do use care when going around corners, trees or anything that may block your view.
- Do use caution when mowing a slope, to avoid slipping under the mower and into blades and avoid tipping over.
What to avoid:
- Do not let children ride with you on a riding lawn mower or tractors.
- Do not use a damaged mower until it has been repaired.
- Do not mow while grass is wet, during poor lighting or during bad weather, such as a thunderstorm. Do not pull the mower backwards or mow in reverse if you can avoid it. If you must mow in reverse, look for children behind you.
- Do not cross gravel paths, roads or other areas with mower on.
- Do not remove safety equipment on mower.
- Do not use alcohol while operating a mower or riding lawn mower.
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