Mowing the lawn teaches your child responsibility and gives him a chance to help his family, but lawnmowers can cause serious injuries to children. Accidents can happen to children while they are mowing or while being outside while someone else is mowing. Follow these safety tips to prevent accidents and keep your children safe this summer.
When Can Children Mow the Lawn?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be at least 12-years-old to use a push lawn mover and 16-years-old to use a riding lawn mower. (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/suppl/2008/02/25/107.6.1480.DC1/p2_1480.pdf) Your child may not be ready at this age depending on his maturity level, so it is the parent’s decision when their child can mow the lawn safely.
Your child should be able to show that he is responsible, mature, and able to make good judgments before operating a lawn mower. He should also have the strength and coordination to operate the mower to avoid accidents.
Before your child mows for the first time, tech him how to operate a mower and what to do when a problem arises. Then supervise him carefully until you are sure that he can mow safely alone.
Before Your Child Mows
Before your child mows the lawn each time, inspect the mower for any damage and repair damage if necessary. Don’t mow when the grass is wet because your child or the mower could slip and cause an accident.
If your mower has a bagger or other safely features, make sure they are installed correctly and working properly before mowing.
Inspect the lawn for debris that could harm the mower or the person who is mowing. Remove large rocks, toys, and sticks that can be thrown from the mower and hurt someone.
Other Safety Precautions
Children who are not mowing can still be hurt by a parent mowing. Teach children to stay out of the yard while someone is mowing because rocks and other debris can fly out of the mower deck and hit the child.
Do not let children ride on your lap or sitting on the mower while mowing. Debris can hit the child, or he can fall off the mower and be seriously injured.
By following these safety measures, your children will be safe this summer, and older children can learn to be more responsible and help their family with their work.