Each year nearly 85,000 people take a trip to the emergency room because of an injury sustained from a power mower, and a large number of these are to the feet and ankles. Sadly, a large percentage of these injuries occur in children. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want to help our Los Angeles County patients avoid contributing to these statistics. Below are some important reminders for using power mowers safely.
Avoid Mechanical Difficulties—many mowers today have several built-in safety features. Know and care for your mower properly:
- Read the user manual! It may not be the most scintillating read, but it can protect your feet and the rest of your body by helping you understand how to properly operate your mower.
- Perform recommended annual maintenance on your mower or have it serviced professionally.
- Do not try to “modify” or fix your mower, even temporarily with homemade repair jobs.
Child Proof Your Mow—to help protect the youngest members of the family:
- Never take children for rides on the mower. Tragically, getting on and off mowers are prime danger zones for small feet and toes.
- Keep children indoors while you mow if possible.
- If children are outside, instruct them not to try to get your attention or approach you when the mower is on.
- Teach children not to climb on or touch a mower when it is off. Many children have been burned by mowers that are cooling down or cut themselves on the sharp blades.
Follow Safe Mower Practices—although many mowing safeguards may be common sense, they bear repeating:
- Don’t mow a wet lawn. Slippery grass makes it easy to lose control of the mower.
- Wear sturdy shoes. It may be hard to believe, but many injuries that land people in the emergency room happen to those who are mowing barefoot or in flip-flops. Mower blades whirl at over 3,000 rotations per minute—choose the most protective shoes you own.
- Pick up the lawn before you mow. Mowers have the kinetic energy of a .357 handgun and when they run over objects in the lawn they can shoot out at high speed and hurt someone nearby.
Any mower injury needs immediate treatment. If it is serious, contact our Long Beach office at (562) 420-9800 and let our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, assess the condition of your foot or ankle.