Akron, Ohio – With summer in full swing, many children and teens are enjoying the warm weather, and even helping with outdoor chores. But while the task of lawn mowing may seem routine, it can be extremely dangerous, especially when small children are nearby.
“Lawnmowers are machines designed for cutting. They do not differentiate between grass, arms or legs,” said Kenneth Bono, M.D., a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Akron Children’s Hospital. “They are not toys to ride on, and must be respected for the machines they are.”
Each year, thousands of children are treated in U.S. emergency departments for lawn mower injuries. These injuries are often related to children falling off of riding lawn mowers and getting hurt after running up to an adult who is mowing but does not see the approaching child.
“Lawnmower injuries are some of the most devastating and potentially life-altering injuries that we take care of, and almost all of them are avoidable,” Dr. Bono said.
Lawn mower injuries can involve broken and dislocated bones, deep cuts, missing fingers and toes, limb amputations, burns and eye injuries. Some require reconstructive surgery and months, if not years, to restore form and function.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, following a few quick and simple lawn mower safety tips will assure a safe summer for everyone.
Akron Children’s has treated 23 children for lawn mower related injuries between 2009 and 2014, and 69 percent of these patients were 6 years old or younger.