What whirls at 3,000 rotations per minute and produces more kinetic energy than a .357 handgun? Your lawn mower! Each year over 35,000 injuries occur as a result of mowing the lawn. At Texas Foot Specialists, we don’t want to see any of our patients become part of this statistic. Fortunately, most mower accidents are relatively easy to prevent if you take some simple precautions. Below are some do’s and don’ts for mower safety:
Do: read the instruction manual of a new mower completely before starting it up the first time. If you are purchasing a new mower, look for one that has a switch that shuts off automatically when you let go of the handle.
Don’t: mow a lawn after a recent rain. Losing control of the mower on a wet and slippery lawn is the most common cause of accidents.
Do: wear work boots or other heavy-soled shoes and long pants when mowing.
Don’t: ever mow a lawn barefoot or wearing open-toed shoes!
Don’t: take children for rides on the mower—no matter how much they beg!
Do: pick up sticks, rocks, toys and other objects before mowing. These can be become fast moving projectiles that can cause serious injury if shot out from the mower.
Don’t: pull a running mower backwards.
Don’t: mow up and down on steep slopes. Go side to side, slowly and carefully.
Do: wait to mow the lawn if you are tired or not feeling one hundred percent.
Do: teach children to wait until you are done mowing the lawn before trying to talk to you or get your attention. It is nearly impossible to hear children coming up behind you when the mower is running.
Don’t: wait until you’re finished mowing to treat even a minor cut from the mower blades. Blades are very dirty and can easily cause an infection. Wash a wound thoroughly and apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage before continuing to mow. If you have concerns about the injury, contact our Sugar Land (281-242-4448), Pasadena (281-991-0600) or Houston office (713-664-6677) so that our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller and Dr. Gregory Mangum can evaluate the wound.