TAMPA, Fla., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- As summer approaches, many
homeowners will begin working on their lawns. Unfortunately, this can pose a
serious threat to the health and safety of children.
Shriners Hospitals for Children treat a number of children each year who
have been seriously injured as a result of power lawn mower incidents. Many
of these incidents result in the loss of fingers, toes, limbs and even eyes.
Tragically, some lawn mower accidents can result in permanent brain damage or
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, one of every
five deaths caused by a lawn mower involves a child. The Commission estimates
that most of the deaths to children occur when a child falls off the riding
mower and is run over, or when a child is in a moving mower's path. In many
of these unfortunate situations, these tragedies could have been avoided if
the proper precautions had been taken.
Injuries and death from lawn mower accidents can be reduced dramatically
if these safety tips from Shriners Hospitals and the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission are followed:
* Do not allow passengers on a riding mower.
* Keep children out of the yard and indoors while mowing the lawn.
* It is recommended that children under the age of 14 not be allowed to
operate a lawn mower.
* Always prepare your lawn for mowing.
Check your lawn for items such as sticks, rocks, toys, etc. Make
sure nothing is hidden in the grass.
* Handle fuel with care.
Wipe up spills. Never fill the tank on a mower that is hot. Never
smoke or use any kind of flame around gasoline.
* Wear appropriate clothing and shoes.
Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, eye protection and heavy
Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles.
* Check guards and shields.
Be sure you read the owner's manual and know how to operate the
equipment. Don't remove or disable guards or other safety devises.
* Use a mower with an automatic blade cut-off.
Stay behind the handle until the blade stops. Never reach under a
mower while it is still operating. If you need to remove debris to
check the blade, disconnect the wire from the spark plug.
* Don't cut the grass when it is wet.
* Don't use a riding mower in areas where the lawn slopes.
Always be aware of mowing dangers and keep children safe. For more
information on lawn mower safety, or Shriners' network of 22 hospitals
that treat children with orthopedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries,
please write to International Shrine Headquarters, Public Relations Dept.,
2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL, 33607. If you know a child Shriners can
help, call 1-800-237-5055 in the United States and 1-800-361-7256 in Canada.
Shriners Hospitals provide free treatment to children under age 18 without
regard to race, religion or relationship to a Shriner.
SOURCE Shriners Hospitals for Children