Child Dangers to Watch Out for When Mowing

050310Mowing a lawn doesn’t seem like a dangerous activity but it can be, especially for young children. Too often the noise and focus on the lawnmower causes the owner to forget what’s going on nearby. With children, trouble can happen very quickly and with serious injury in some cases. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a bit of prevention and thinking about safety, a lot of serious injuries to children can be prevented while cutting a lawn.

Watch the Power Source

Whether the lawn-mowing job is performed with an electric or gas-powered lawnmower, kids are inquisitive. They want to know what’s going on and they frequently watch their parents inquisitively. The power source of a lawnmower can be extremely dangerous if not contained around toddlers or small children. Electrical wires and plugs can quickly become dangerous points where a child sticks a finger if not blocked off. A spare fuel tank for lawnmower gas can be a dangerous and poisonous curiosity for a child when the parent has his back turned mowing the lawn. In both cases, thinking smart means removing the spare gas tank from any child’s access and sealing the electric plugs from exposure.

Use Safety Guards

Lawnmowers come with side guards, flaps, and refuse bags for a reason. These accessories should never be taken off a lawnmower because they may seem inconvenient. Too often children walk near or around their parents, even while staying out of the way of a lawnmower. All it takes is a spare rock or bark to get caught by the mower blade and then be propelled at high speed. The effect if shot out of the lawnmower can be the same as a pellet but or even a small caliber bullet. If a child unfortunately happens to be in the way that rock or bark will hit them hard. Avoid this tragedy by making sure all the safety guards are in place on a mower before ever starting the machine. Then make sure children stay at least 20 feet away from the mowing area.

Maintain Situational Awareness

Jumpy guyIn larger plots and lawns access between yard areas is necessary. This can involve gates to pools, access gates to nearby roads, and pet containment areas. Children have a real bad habit of seeing an open gate and running right through it as a novelty. This typically occurs when the gate normally blocks an area the child is not allowed to go to without a parent. In some of the worst cases, children suddenly gain access to pools or nearby roads. The results can be serious injury or even death.

Situational awareness is critical when mowing large areas with children nearby. Parents simply have to think like a child at all times in terms of what trouble the little one can get into. Where gates are involved, even if it means a delay in the mowing job, gates have to be re-closed immediately.

Avoid Gas Dangers

It seems logical but often people get very comfortable with house chores, including lawn mowing. With gas-powered lawnmowers it’s extremely important to watch out for heat sources. Gasoline is particularly tricky since fumes are invisible and can travel along the ground if the container is left open. With children nearby the situation gets extremely risky and dangerous. A cigarette or hot mower engine can cause an ignition which can then explode in a flash. The best way to avoid this disaster completely is to remove any forms of flame or heat, period. Save that cigarette when the job is completely over.

Lawnmowers and children on their own clearly don’t mix, but it can be amazing how often people create situations while mowing that can create serious risks for their kids. The biggest prevention a homeowner can perform is to think first before taking action with a mower. This approach will block out 9 out of 10 risks immediately since the mowing person will then take steps to avoid problems.

Ralph Helm Inc is a proud dealer of eco-friendly outdoor power equipment from popular brands like Stihl and Toro. For more information and money saving coupons visit us online at www.ralphhelminc.com, call or visit us at any of our two convenient locations: Elgin, IL (815) 788-1616 and Crystal Lake, IL (847) 695-1616

Image Sources: Díana Bryndís, on Flickr and AgentThirteen, on Flickr

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