Each year it seems we read about sad stories of adults and children losing toes or even feet in a lawn mowing accident. In fact, the Consumer Protection Agency reports that there are more than 37,000 accidents associated with power mowers each year. At Texas Foot Specialists, we know that many of these accidents can be prevented. Protecting your feet is our top priority and so we want to offer these safety reminders:
Children First—riding with dad or mom on the lawn mower looks like so much fun and children may nag and beg to allow you to do so. Don’t give in! One of the two most frequently injured age groups in mower accidents is children under the age of 14. Little feet and short legs don’t get on and off the mower smoothly and can easily slip under the mower and get caught in the blades. It’s not worth the risk. In addition, it’s important to establish firm rules for children for acceptable behavior while you’re mowing. Children should stay off the lawn until you are finished and learn not to try to come to you or get your attention while the mower is on. The mower makes too much noise to hear them approaching.
The Right Conditions—never mow a wet lawn. One of the prime reasons for mower accidents is slippage on wet grass. You should also always wear the right footwear—heavy work boots are best. Sneaker material loses every time against blades that whirl at 3,000 rotations per minute. And we shouldn’t even have to say it, but we will: never mow in flip-flops or barefoot.
Don’t Take Short Cuts—when you rush or are pressed for time, you make mistakes. Trying to pull a running mower backwards, not bothering to put the clip bag on or mowing up and down rather than side to side on slopes may all seem like ways to save time, but they can easily lead to disaster.
Be sure, if you do injure yourself, that you seek medical treatment immediately. Even minor cuts can become major infections if you don’t stop, wash the cut out thoroughly and apply antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage. If an injury doesn’t seem to be healing properly, contact our Houston (713) 664-6677, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Pasadena (281) 991-0600 office for an appointment to get your symptoms evaluated by our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller.