June is National Safety Month and at Texas Foot Specialists we want to take this opportunity to talk to our patients about an issue that is particularly important to the safety of your feet: using a power mower. Each year the National Safety Council reports that over 37,000 people in the United States sustain injuries from power mowers. Sadly, most of these injuries are preventable if the following safety tips are followed:
- Never mow a wet lawn. The top cause of foot injuries from power mowers is loss of control of the mower due to slipping on grass after a rain storm.
- Wear work boots or heavy soled shoes to mow. Sneakers and sandals do not protect against whirling mower blades that rotate at over 3,000 revolutions per minute. And, we shouldn’t have to say it but we will: never mow barefoot.
- Keep sticks and debris from flying up by using the clip bag when mowing.
- Do not pull a running mower backwards.
- Mow across slopes, not up and down.
- Protect children by establishing a firm rule that they are not to come out on the lawn while you are mowing. Children under the age of 14 are in the highest risk category for mower injuries (along with people over age 44). Do not let children ride on your lap while you mow the lawn.
Even minor cuts should be cleaned out immediately and treated with antibiotic ointment and then covered with a clean bandage because of the high risk of infection due to the dirtiness of mower blades. Watch for signs of infection, including: red streaks around the wound, warmth coming from the skin at the affected spot and fever. Any serious injuries that require a trip to the emergency room should be followed up with a visit to one of our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Magnum or Dr. Bruce Miller. Full and proper rehabilitation of foot injuries is necessary to avoid chronic and potentially debilitating conditions. Contact our Sugar Land (281-242-4448), Pasadena (281-242-4448) or Houston (713-664-6677) office for an appointment.