Children and lawnmowers…

Count the mistakes made in May 2012, when a St. Paul family daycare center allowed two children in her care to ride in the back of a lawn mower driven by another adult and then worked in her garden instead of watching the children, according to state reports. One of the children fell and the adult then backed the mower onto the child, who had all five toes of one foot amputated due to the injury. The daycare provider then did not immediately report the injury to the appropriate state and county authorities, who temporarily closed the daycare in July 2012.

The case was resolved last week when the claimant agreed to surrender her childcare license, according to state Department of Human Services documents released today. But the case made me think more broadly about the risks, at this time of year, of children being injured by lawn mowers. It turns out that about 17,000 children are injured each year in the United States by lawn mowers – half of those injuries involving children riding on lawn mowers or playing with electric lawn mowers. The hospitalization rate for these children doubles the hospitalization rate for other consumer product-related injuries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has just partnered with two professional surgical associations to provide guidance for families on children and clippers. Here are some of the top recommendations:

  • Only use a mower with a control that prevents the mower blade from moving if the handle is released.
  • Children must be at least 12 years old to use a push lawn mower and 16 years old to use a walk behind lawn mower.
  • Avoid injury from flying objects, such as rocks or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before you start mowing.
  • Do not pull the mower backwards or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully supervise children behind you when mowing in reverse.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on riding mowers and keep children out of the yard while mowing.

Older post

Books before baseball at the Northwoods League game in Willmar

Newer Post

Duluth injuries show escalator hazards for children…

Jeremy Olson writes about children and families, and is an overburdened father of two. Her blog discusses the best and worst of parenting, family, health and love. He wants to hear from you – what’s going on at your place?

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