MADISON, Wis. – The smell of freshly cut grass can be a welcome sign of summertime but it can also be a time for serious lawn mower-related injuries in children.
Every year thousands of children in the United States are treated for lawn mower-related injuries to fingertips, hands, arms, legs and feet, according to the Child Injury Prevention Alliance.
These injuries usually happen when the person mowing is distracted, even for a split second, according to Dr. Ken Noonan, pediatric orthopedic surgeon, UW Health Kids.
“Every year we see lawn mower injuries at American Family Children’s Hospital, unfortunately some of these result in amputation of a leg or an arm which are life altering for kids and their parents,” he said. “It is important to know where your kids are at all times while mowing.”
UW Health Kids experts recommend the following tips:
- Don’t start mowing until you know where all kids are, children under 6 should stay inside until the mowing is over.
- Never allow a child to ride as a passenger on a riding lawn mower.
- Teach children that lawn mowers are not toys.
- A child should be at least 12 years old before using a push mower.
- A child should be at least 16 when using a riding lawn mower.
A recorded interview with Noonan is available.