Spring has definitely sprung and that means many of us are itching to get outside and get our yards in shape. It’s also a time of year when there are many more lawn mower injuries—about 25,000 injuries annually occur from power mowers. With razor sharp blades that whirl at 3,000 revolutions per minute it’s easy to imagine the damage that can be done. Studies show that children under the age of 14 and adults over the age of 44 are the ones most often injured in mowing accidents. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we would like to offer the following safety tips when using a power mower:
- Always wear heavy shoes or work boots when mowing—sneakers and other light weight shoes are no match for mower blades. Sandals and open toed shoes are definitely out.
- Never mow a wet lawn—slipping and losing control because of wet grass is the number one cause of foot injuries when mowing.
- Establish a firm rule that children must stay off the lawn while you are mowing. It’s impossible to hear them coming with the mower running.
- When mowing a slope, always go across, not up and down.
- Do not allow children to ride on your lap while mowing—many accidents to children occur getting on or off the mower.
- If buying a new mower, look for one that has a release mechanism on the handle that shuts the mower off automatically if the hands let go.
- Keep the clip bag attached when mowing to prevent projectile launches of debris from the lawn.
If despite taking precautions you sustain an injury while mowing, seek treatment immediately. If your foot wound requires an emergency room visit be sure to follow up with our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, to be sure the wound heals completely and to find out if physical therapy or other treatment is necessary to ensure a full recovery. Contact us for an appointment at our Somers Point office by calling: (609) 927-4894.