The best rule in terms of lawn mower safety and children is to keep the kids inside and away from the mower. I recently shared a post on my Facebook page about a little girl named Ella Rose who was almost killed when she was run over by a ride-on lawn mower. She lost her big toe and has undergone numerous surgeries to rebuild her leg as a result of the injuries she sustained. By sharing her story, she helps to spare other kids from the same tragedy that she has endured.
As a kid, I was not allowed outside when my dad mowed. The same rule now applies to my daughter. I think that my mom was mostly worried about flying debris as our lawn contained quite a few rocks. Even now, when I am out walking, I cross the street and steer clean when I see someone mowing a lawn. The few times that I personally have mowed my own lawn, I have been hit in the legs by shooting rocks and sticks. Keeping myself and my daughter away from lawn mowers to avoid being hit by flying debris is a rule that has been ingrained in my mind since childhood.
During my childhood, I also spent a lot of time on the family farm with my grandparents. Safety around machines was always impressed upon me. Farm machines are dangerous devices when not respected. Just as I would never play in a running auger, I would also never play around a running lawn mower. Even when not running, lawn mowers and other machines still contain dangerous and sharp parts. Children and machines simply do not mix.
I also remember seeing a lot of news stories about kids who were run over by lawn mowers when I was a child. Perhaps lawn mower accident rates were higher in the 1990s, but, for some reason, I seemed to hear a lot of horrific lawn mower stories. Or, perhaps the potential danger of lawn mowers was just something that stuck out to me. Either way, I have seen far too many reports of kids losing limbs or being killed to be careless around lawn mowers — especially with my daughter now in the picture. She is simply not allowed outside when her father mows the lawn, and she is not allowed near running lawn mowers or lawn mowers in general.
When I posted the story about Ella Rose, quite a few readers posted that not allowing kids around lawn mowers was common sense. Unfortunately, common sense is not so common. Not to sound crass or heartless, but far too few people stop to think about the deadly power behind lawn mowers. Sharp, spinning blades powered by an engine are a recipe for disaster when not given proper respect. Although lawn mowers are a common household tool, adults need to remember what lawn mowers can do. Blades that chop grass and weeds can just as easily chop human limbs.
Children do not understand the dangers that commonplace lawn mowers pose. Children do not know not to run up behind a running lawn mower. Children do not realize that simply being near a running lawn mower is a potentially deadly accident waiting to happen. Adults, remember that a lawn mower is a powerful machine that chops up body parts just as easily as foliage. Children should not be around running lawn mowers. Children should also never ride on the lap of a lawn mower operator because of the risk of falling off and under the blades.
Keep your kids safe by keeping them inside and away from running lawn mowers.
Man Pushing Lawn Mower: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1062009