Mowing the lawn is about as standard as a chore can be. Once every week or two, someone has to pass the lawnmower over the grass. It seems straightforward and safe, which is why people often overlook the inherent dangers. Mowing the lawn is such a normal occurrence that we forget that pushing a motored blade is bound to be dangerous. From being cut by the blade to burned by the motor, there are any number of accidents waiting to happen. This doesn’t mean you should never mow again and let your lawn become a stretch of savanna. It only means you have to be smart. These five tips will help keep you out of harm’s way, even while keeping your lawn as nicely cut as ever this summer.
Summer might be flip-flop season, but not when you’re mowing the lawn. Make sure you’re wearing boots or at least sneakers to keep your feet safe. While running your foot over is obviously the worst case scenario, the more frequent problem with wearing sandals is that the mower spits lots of rocks, sticks, and other debris out at ground level, and exposed skin will be constantly pelted. Tossing on some proper footwear is a small price to pay to avoid a smattering of nasty bruises. Long pants, while not quite as essential, are also a good idea, since they keep your lower legs protected.
Keep Children Clear
This seems obvious, but sometimes we forget. If it’s a nice sunny day, sometimes the little ones are out playing and we don’t have the heart to send them inside so we can mow. But as much as you like having the kiddos around while you work, children sharing the lawn with an active mower is simply a bad idea. It might not seem likely, but accidents are always possible, and the results can be catastrophic.
Don’t Stick Your Fingers Where They Don’t Belong
This is probably a sound piece of advice in all facets of life, but it is certainly true with regard to motors. It might be tempting to reach down and pull out a piece of vegetation that’s stuck among the blades. Maybe it seems like you can just grab it quickly without getting too close. This overly-optimistic thinking has sent more than one lawn-keeper to the emergency room. The blades of a lawnmower are sharp and powerful; be smart, and don’t get anywhere near them while the motor is running.
Clear the Yard Before You Mow
The more sticks, rocks, and other debris you have in your lawn when you start to mow, the more items you and passerby could be pelted with while you’re mowing. As mentioned above, lawn mowers have a tendency to kick up the items they pass over. If you don’t want your yard criss-crossed with dangerous projectiles (and trust us, you don’t), then the smart play is to clean up the lawn before you start your mower.
Watch Out For Burns
When people think of lawnmowers as dangerous, it’s usually the blades they have in mind. And while those sharpened wedges can certainly do a number, the super-hot motor of a running mower might well be just as dangerous. Just like you would think twice about touching the motor of a running car, be careful around the mower’s motor and all the surrounding metal parts. If you need to pick your mower up after using it, give it a chance to cool down first. And watch your step as you’re mowing, because if you trip and fall on the motor you’re liable to suffer some pretty serious burns.
Mowing the lawn is hardly the most dangerous activity in the world, but it’s not completely safe either. Practice smart mowing habits to avoid any unnecessary mishaps.