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The menace of the mower

Lawn mower cutting through deep grass

Every Saturday morning as a child, I would wake to a list of chores my mom had set out on the kitchen island for me and my sisters to complete. Often times, I would just skim through the list and pick the easiest and least time consuming jobs to complete, but there was a catch! My parents had attached a monetary opportunity with each of the chores, the value growing as the task increased in effort. Like many kids, I jumped at the opportunity to make a couple bucks – maybe I could go see that new Harry Potter movie in the theaters again! During the spring and summer months, mowing the lawn would be on that list, so if it wasn't too hot, I'd jump out there and get going. However, as a 13-year old girl concerned about looking cool while pushing a lawn mower (is that even possible?), I didn't understand that going shoeless, wearing a dress, or removing debris with my hands was anything to fuss about.

Oh, if I had only known! Not only did the neighbors think I was strange, but I had a firm talking to about lawn mower safety and how important it is to prepare for the task at hand. Whether you're the one that mows the lawn in your household or someone else does it, be sure that you're protecting whoever that someone is.

In 2010, over 253,000 people were injured by lawn-mower related accidents.
  • Know how to use the mower and understand the controls.
  • Clear the path in front of the mower from debris before mowing.
  • Locate and avoid electrical wires that may be in your lawn.
  • Do not start the equipment near a combustible material, or areas with poor ventilation or smoke.
  • Use a mower with a control that keeps it from moving forward if the handle is released.
  • Make sure the mower has had time to cool before you refuel it.
  • Keep your hands and feet away from the blades.
  • Never use your hands to unclog mower – we suggest a sturdy stick.
  • Allow only one person on a riding mower at a time.
  • Consider buying safety glasses to reduce the chance of flying objects from getting in your eyes.
  • Wear heavy shoes to help protect your feet.
  • Do not allow children under the age of 12 to operate a push lawn mower, and age 16 for a riding lawn mower.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there were more than 253,000 lawn-mower related injuries in 2010, and that rate is rising. Keep yourself and the people around you from being a part of that statistic and pledge to be safe when it comes to mowing your lawn!

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