There are several common landscaping mistakes homeowners should avoid but kids’ lawn mower safety isn’t one of them. It’s something we don’t really think about because it’s just another household chore. Here in sunny Sarasota, the lawn mowing season is very long and active because when the grass isn’t dormant, it grows rapidly. During the spring, a lawn mow is only necessary about every two to three weeks. But during the summer, it’s a weekly task. That’s why it’s important for families to know some kids’ lawn mower safety tips.
Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance
While keeping children safe is a top priority, you’ve got to maintain your lawn equipment for it to deliver its best performance. So, try to keep its workload down to a minimum. You can partially accomplish this by avoiding the five most messy trees. Raking up organic debris, such as branches and leaves will help to lighten the load and these make for part of a wonderful composting recipe. Use those leaves, branches, twigs, and more to combine with some household throwaways, like coffee grounds and food scraps.
Sure, you may know how to mow your yard so it looks like a professional baseball outfield, but do you know how to mow it safely? Even if you’ve been mowing injury-free for decades, we have some safety tips that you may have never thought of, tips to help you continue mowing injury-free for decades to come. —Family Handyman
Also, you need to maintain your lawn mower with just a bit of basic maintenance. So, be sure to replace the air filter, spark plug, and gas filter, especially if it’s been stored away for the past several months. It’s a good idea to totally drain the gas at least once per year. Check the oil, clean out the undercarriage thoroughly, and sharpen the blades. All of these easy to do basic lawn mower maintenance will help keep that machine humming along and extend its usable lifespan. If you aren’t proficient with this type of work, you can always go to a local small lawn machine service shop and have it tuned up for you. While this might cost $50 to $75, it’s worthwhile if it prevents you from having to buy a new machine.
Kids’ Lawn Mower Safety Tips
Every spring, we drag our lawn mowers out, fire them up, and cut the grass. It’s something routine and we don’t stop to think about how truly dangerous these machines are to us, other adults, pets, and children. You might have experienced a rock hitting your leg, inflicting immediate, stinging pain, after it was thrown by the mower blades. Or, have faced the disappointment of finding a ding in your car door from pebble fired from the blades.
Those are small instances but it can be much worse. About 17,000 children are injured in lawn mower incidents every year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Injuries include cuts, lacerations, burns, broken bones, amputations, and most unfortunately, death. This is why it is so important to know the following kids’ lawn mower safety tips:
- Keep young children inside. One of the simplest and most convenient ways to keep children safe from lawn mowers is to keep them inside your home. There’s just no good reason to allow children younger than 7 to 8 years of age outside while you’re mowing. This will help avoid injuries from flying debris or accidentally run over.
- Pick up all the lawn debris. Speaking of flying debris, it’s not fun and makes the lawn care all the more tedious and arduous, but picking up all lawn debris is necessary. The less loose debris, the less chance of an accident. The average lawn mower can catapult a small rock or piece of mulch at speeds of up to or over 200 miles per hour.
- Always safely store the mower. When the machine is running, it’s at its most dangerous, right? Well, that’s not entirely true. After you mow the lawn, the engine and exhaust remain painfully hot. In fact, most will be about 240 degrees for 1o to 15 minutes after use. That’s hot enough to inflict 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
- Don’t allow kids to lap ride. There’s a reason riding mowers only have one seat and not two seats — they are made to be operated and rode by just one person — not two people. Never allow lap riding because it’s too big a risk for serious injury to occur.
- Avoid delegating chores too soon. Some children, especially boys, will be eager to take on the chore of mowing the lawn. While this initiative is laudable, it’s a recipe for disaster, particularly for children age 12 years or younger.
If it’s time to update your landscaping, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are a full-service, professional landscape design company and serve all of Sarasota, including near Bayfront Drive, around Rolling Green Golf Club, along Longboat Club Road, and elsewhere.