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Safe Mowing Tips

The center for Childhood Safety offers these tips for safe lawn mowing:
  • Keep children and pets out of the yard while mowing.

  • Do a walk-through of the area before you begin mowing. Clear the area of large sticks or other debris.

  • Wear clothing that offers some protection, like sturdy shoes with non-slip soles to provide good traction. Wear eye protection, like glasses, sunglasses, or goggles, while mowing.

  • Read the operating guide for your mower. Make sure you understand all of its safety features prior to use. Make sure your new power mower has a "deadman" control that stops the mower if you let go of the handle. Do not disable this or other safety features of your mower.

  • Do not cut the lawn when it's raining, lightning, or when the grass is slippery.

  • Adolescents should be at least 12 years of age before they operate lawn-mowing equipment. Discuss lawn mower safety with all of your children.

  • Never allow young children to ride alone on a riding mower.

  • Caution adolescents who are operating lawn-mowing equipment to avoid carelessly placing hands near power blades. Do not clean the grass exit with your hands.

  • Do not push a lawn mower onto the pavement. The lawn keeps objects from being hurled at a high speed. On the pavement, there is no such protection.

  • Make sure your mower is in good working condition at all times.

  • Do not operate a mower when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that impair judgment.

Precautions reduce the risks of yard work

Parents should decide when their child is read to operate a lawnmower. Make sure the child is strong enough to control the mower without difficulty. Train children to operate the mower safely. Do not allow anyone who tends to disobey rules or take unnecessary risks to operate the mower. Supervise children during the first few minutes of mowing and during refueling and maintenance tasks.

Children should take precautions to maintain safety while mowing. They should read and understand owner's manuals for any machinery they are using.

Common sense guidelines:

  • Users should know what the controls do and how to operate them.

  • Users should know how to stop the mower quickly

  • Avoid rotating blades and never put hand into the mowing chamber without first turning off the machine, no matter what built-in safety controls are in place.

  • Keep protective shields in place to protect against thrown objects. Repair machines when these shields become worn or damaged.

  • Wear protective clothing, including long pants, eye protection and sturdy shoes

  • Always refuel outdoors in a well-ventilated area with the engine turned off.

  • Always inspect the area to be mowed prior to actually starting the equipment. Remove loose objects and clear the area of small children and pets.