Lawn and Garden Safety Tips
The hum of a mower and the smell of fresh-cut grass are telltale
signs of spring. However, before cranking up the mower and string trimmer, be
sure to include an ounce of prevention with those quarts of oil and gallons of
Each year, approximately 317,210 people nationwide are
treated for various injuries resulting from lawn and garden tools, according to
the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many of these injuries can be prevented
when using proper safety precautions.
time in the garden or working in the yard can be a great way to enjoy the
outdoors, reduce stress and get physical activity, said Michael Fitch, M.D., professor of Emergency Medicine at Wake
Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“Whether you’re a beginner or expert at outdoor chores, it’s important to be
aware of the many dangers and hazards that can be presented.”
Fitch also advises against giving young children rides on mowers
or tractors— as the child may fall off and be injured. Giving rides may also
lead to children approaching the mower during operation without being seen.
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, safe gardening and lawn tips
can also include:
for loose or damaged belts on mowers or trimmers.
all blades are secure, balanced and covered.
aware of any fluid leaks.
the area to be mowed and remove debris such as rocks, sticks, bottles, etc.
chute of the mower should be pointed away from people, animals, buildings and
Lawn Mower Safety:
- Never allow children under the age of 12 to operate a push mower and children under 16 should not operate a riding lawn mower.
young children and pets indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor
power equipment is being used.
- Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches,
embankments or steep slopes. Use a string trimmer to cut grass in these
- Stay alert for anyone who may enter the
mowing area and always look down and behind before and during using reverse.
down when turning and make wide, gradual turns, especially when mowing on
slopes. Mow up and down slopes, not across.
- Wear safety goggles, gloves, sturdy shoes, socks and long-sleeved
shirts and long pants.
- Protect hearing by wearing ear muffs or ear plugs when using
- Use insect repellent containing DEET.
- Wide-brimmed hats, sun shades and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
can help prevent sunburn and skin cancer.
Those working outdoors also
should stay hydrated with water, take breaks often and pay attention to signs
of heat-related illnesses.
“By practicing safe yard
habits, you can drastically reduce your risk of injury or injury to others nearby,”