How to avoid lawn mower mishaps
Before you start your lawn mower’s engine up the next time it’s time to, keep this fact in mind: The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 80,000 people end up in the emergency room every year after mishaps with lawn mowers. Even though cutting the grass can’t be avoided, most injuries can. Here are five tips for staying safe around lawn mowers.
Ensure your lawn mower is properly maintained
Before it’s time to mow, check your mower over thoroughly. Read the owner’s manual to find out what kinds of regular maintenance is needed. Also, make sure that all nuts and bolts are tight and other parts like filters, belts, and safety shields are in place.
If you can manage routine maintenance on your own, always make sure the motor is shut off and completely cool to the touch before starting work on it or fueling it up. If you have a gas-powered mower, for added safety, disconnect the spark plug wire. This will prevent any possibility of the machine turning on while you’re working close to the blade.
Keep your blades sharp
The sharper your lawn mower blades are, the more smoothly and safely they will move through grass. Unless blade sharpening is something you are good at and can handle easily, you are probably better off having a professional hone your blades. He will do an excellent job and you won’t have to risk getting a nasty cut.
Check your surroundings
The average lawn mower can shoot out objects at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. So, before you power it up, look at your yard for a few minutes. Pick up and remove any rocks, debris, sticks, pet toys, and anything else you don’t want flying through a window or injuring someone.
Keep kids and pets safe and sound inside
Never mow the lawn while little ones are nearby watching. Teach children to never go near a lawn mower and never let them to ride with you on a riding mower. The recommended ages before kids should be allowed to cut the grass are 12 years old for operating a push mower, and 16 for a riding mower.
Riding lawn mowers cause more injuries than push mowers because they are more prone to rolling over and you certainly don’t want your child to be riding on the mower. To reduce the chance of rolling over on slopes slow down and take wide turns. Also, always mow down, not across.
Wear the proper clothing
No matter how hot it is, it’s recommended that you wear long pants, closed-toe shoes or boots, and protective gear like safety glasses and earplugs. All of these items will help keep you safe. You should also wear a wide-brimmed hat and apply plenty of sunscreen to prevent sunburn and UV ray damage to your skin.
Prevent chute clogs and remove them safely
Some of the worst injuries occur from cleaning out grass clogs. The best way to avoid clogs is to prevent them from ever occurring. Overgrown and wet grass are much more likely to clog up your chute, so cut your grass frequently and only when it’s dry. If you do need to unclog your chute, do it safely. Make sure the motor is fully shut off and use a stick or broom handle, not your bare hands to clear it out.
Enjoy a tall glass of lemonade after a job well done and always keep Snappy’s safety tips in mind while mowing. You are better off getting into the habit of following them now so you can spend the summer relaxing in a hammock instead of laid up in the hospital.