This post was written by Ashley Bojrab, DPM, PPG – Podiatry.
Spring is here! It’s time to get outside and freshen up our homes with that inevitable yard work. As we dust off our equipment for gardening and lawn work, it’s important to review some rules for protecting our feet.
According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that more than 37,000 Americans suffer a power mower-related injury each year. In addition, healthychildren.org reports that, in the United States, more than 9,000 children go to the emergency room for lawn mower-related injuries each year.
Accidents involving lawn mowers are the leading cause of amputation in children. Remember, lawn mowers are very powerful and without the proper precautions, simple yard work can quickly turn into horrific accidents. Here are a few safety tips to help prevent injuries to the feet.
Lawn mower safety tips
- Keep children and pets inside the house while mowing the lawn.
- Wear closed-toe shoes, absolutely no sandals or flip flops. A heavy shoe or work boot is the best protection for the feet when mowing.
- Wet grass can be more dangerous, as it can cause slipping or sliding, which leads to losing control of the machine. Wait until the grass is dry.
- If your yard has a slope, it’s best to mow from side to side and not from top to bottom. In addition, never pull the mower backward.
- When purchasing a lawn mower, look for special safety features that will turn off the machine if the hands let go.
- Projectile injuries can occur. It’s best to keep the clip bag attached when using the
- Wear safety glasses to protect the eyes.
- Minor injuries to the feet can occur. If this happens, treat immediately by flushing and cleansing the wound, then applying antibiotics. For more serious injuries, such as deep wounds involving tendons or the bone, surgical intervention might be needed. Seek medical treatment from a foot and ankle specialist right away.