Be safe with your lawn mower

Friday, June 20th 2008, 7:31 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

This time of year it's common for doctors to treat lawn mower related injuries, especially in children. Experts say the devastating injuries can be easily prevented.

EMSA medics make frequent runs on lawn mower related injuries.

"Unfortunately we ran a call where a small child was playing out in the yard and the parent was mowing the yard and ran over something and was ejected out of the side from the mower and it struck the child, causing a laceration on the lower leg," Bryan Jones with EMSA said.

From the minor to the major, medics and doctors treat it all. It's not always the result of a child standing by watching a parent, however. During the summer months mowing lawns is a popular way for kids to make some extra cash.

"The kids we see out in the neighborhoods, sometimes look incredibly young to be mowing the lawn," Dr. Joseph Davey said.

Davey pediatric doctor has already seen three lawn mower related injuries this year. He says age, inexperience and lack of safety precautions can send kids to the emergency room with life-altering injuries.

Doctors at OU Children's Hospital say lawn mower injuries are the number one cause of amputations in children.

The amputations are usually a result of a foot or limb getting caught underneath the mower.

"It's like a big machete and it's going around faster than I can swing a machete, and if your foot gets caught under there, it's not just a single one; it takes a while for that blade to stop," Davey said.

Keeping hands and feet from the blade is important, as well as wearing protective eye gear. Also make sure your mower is in good working order.

Riding lawn mowers can also be dangerous and account for about 70 percent of lawn mower related injuries in children. Because of that doctors warn against giving kids a ride.