With all the rain we’ve had over the last few weeks and warmer temperatures finally arriving, it seems that the grass has suddenly sprung up several inches and it’s time to begin that summer chore ritual of mowing the lawn. Even experienced mowers make rookie mistakes that can cause a serious injury or even the loss of a toe when they find themselves in certain situations. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we don’t want any of our patients to wind up being one of the estimated 37,000 people who will injure themselves this year using a power mower.
Keep the scenarios below in mind and don’t fall prey to them:
I’m in a hurry so I’m not going to bother picking up all the sticks in the yard before I start.
Mower blades whirl at a rate of 3,000 rotations per minute. This means any sticks or other objects that they pick up can go flying out at a speed that could injure the mower or anyone else in the vicinity. That’s why it’s essential to pick up debris on the lawn before mowing or keep the clip bag attached to prevent common objects from becoming dangerous missiles.
I know it rained last night but this is the only day I can mow the lawn.
The biggest cause of power mower accidents is a mower slipping on wet grass. Remember to mow sloped lawns side to side and always wait to mow until the grass is completely dry.
I don’t feel like changing into my work boots. I’ll be fine mowing the lawn in my sneakers or sandals.
Nothing but a pair of heavy work boots has a chance of protecting your feet from sharp, high speed mower blades. Take a moment and get the correct foot gear on. Believe it or not, many mower accident victims that come into the emergency room reportedly were mowing barefoot!
I nicked my foot with the mower blade but it wasn’t a very big cut. Now it’s all red and swollen.
Mower blades are very dirty and therefore even a small cut left untreated for a short amount of time can develop an infection. It’s essential that you stop immediately if you cut yourself and clean out the affected area completely. Apply anti-bacterial ointment and a bandage to protect the area before finishing the lawn.
If you do end up with an injury that does not seem to be healing properly, our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, will need to examine your foot. Contact our Somers Point office for an appointment immediately by calling: (609) 927-4894.