Park Ridge, IL (PRWEB) June 21, 2006
With summer approaching and the school year coming to a close, thousands of children across the country will take on a familiar chore – mowing the lawn. Whether it is to help their parents mow the backyard or a summer job to earn extra money, this routine task can be dangerous for children and adults alike if proper safety precautions are not taken. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than 230,500 people (20,000 of them children under the age of 19) were treated in doctors’ offices, clinics and emergency rooms for lawn mower-related injuries in 2004.
Many lawn mower-related injuries require a team of physicians from various specialties to properly repair them. Often, patients must endure many painful reconstructive operations to restore form and function. Physicians in plastic surgery, microsurgery, pediatric surgery, and orthopaedics are at the forefront in repairing these injuries and see, firsthand, how devastating they can be for children and their families.
To help prevent injures, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have teamed up to educate parents, adults and children about the importance of lawn mower safety during National Safety Month, June 2006.
“This trend is particularly frustrating because of the risks involved to children,” says Dr. Sam Speron, plastic surgery expert and consumer advocate. “We desperately need more consumer education on this topic. It is important that people take their time when mowing the lawn, and teach kids at an early age to stay clear of these machines when they are running. The sad thing is that so many of these tragic injuries are avoidable. A few simple precautions can protect thousands of children. The power lawn mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home, but many children view it as a potential toy – resulting in thousands of debilitating injures every year!”
The ASRM, ASPS, AAP and AAOS offer the following tips to help prevent lawn mower-related injuries:
- Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.
- Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
- Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
- Young children should be at a safe distance from the area you are mowing.
- Before mowing, pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
- Always wear eye and hearing protection.
- Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
- Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.
- Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
- Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
- Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads.
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