Asking your child to mow the lawn can be helpful and give your child a sense of responsibility. But mowing the grass can also be dangerous. Every year children and adults are injured using lawn mowers, both those that are driven from a seat and those that are driven from behind, and even hand-propelled mowers. This sheet gives you more information about the safety of children when using lawn mowers.
What to teach the child
Your child needs to be aware of the dangers of lawn mowers. Before allowing your child to mow the lawn, be sure to teach him the following:
Everyone who uses the lawn mower should read the owner’s manual and all instructions regarding the mower.
Each time you use the mower, you must first check all its parts to ensure that they are in good condition, including the guards and protective barriers, and the grass catcher.
Wear suitable clothing such as sturdy, closed-toe shoes (not sandals) and eye and hearing protection. Avoid clothing that is too loose, as it could get caught in the moving parts of the cutter.
Hands and feet should be kept away from moving parts.
Before starting work, branches, stones and toys should be removed from the area where the grass is to be cut. This is necessary because these items could be caught and ejected by the mower blades, injuring bystanders.
A lawn mower should not be used on wet grass or during bad weather, such as in a thunderstorm.
The user must take a good look where he is going while using the machine to see if there are holes, depressions in the ground or hidden dangers. Be careful around corners.
When mowing on sloping ground, speed should be reduced when changing direction. Special attention should be paid on very steep slopes. For example, a self-propelled mower (and driven from a seat) should always be directed up or down the slope, to prevent it from tipping over. Whereas a rear-guided mower must be driven from side to side to prevent the user from slipping and being trapped underneath.
The blades of self-propelled and ride-on mowers should be disconnected when riding on pavement or gravel. Read the instruction manual to learn how to do this.
The mower should be turned off and allowed to cool down before making any adjustments or repairs, and also before removing stuck grass. The mower must also be switched off when emptying the grass catcher and whenever the user is in front of the machine.
Also, the mower should be turned off and allowed to cool before adding gasoline.
Is your child ready to mow the grass?
Operating the lawn mower requires a certain level of good sense, strength, and coordination to do so safely. Follow these tips to decide if your child is ready to mow:
As a general rule, your child must be at least 12 years old to use a rear-guided or hand-propelled lawn mower. Your child must be at least 16 years old to use a self-propelled, ride-on lawn mower.
Take time to teach him how to use the lawnmower properly. Review the safety tips above with your child and make sure your child knows how to stop the mower quickly if necessary.
Monitor your child’s work until you are sure he can do it on his own.
Keeping Children Safe Around Lawn Mowers.
Whoever the user of the machine is, precautions must be taken to protect young children. Here are some tips to prevent young children from being injured by lawn mowers.
Pay attention to always know where the children are while you are mowing the grass. Keep them away from the area where the mower is being used. Children under the age of 6 must stay in the house while the grass is mowed.
Do not allow anyone (not a child) to ride a lawnmower as a passenger. Lawnmowers are made to carry only one person. Also, do not allow the mower to tow a baby carriage.
Teach your children that the lawnmower is not a toy. They should not play with it or sit on it, even when it is turned off and put away.