As summer heats up it seems like the grass is growing an inch a day! At Gentle Professional Foot Care we want to remind patients not to become lax in observing all necessary precautions when performing this common home chore. Believe it or not, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that over 37,000 Americans are victims of a power mower injury each year. You may not think of your mower as a deadly weapon but it actually produces more than three times the kinetic energy of .357 hand gun, with blades that whirl at 3,000 revolutions per minute.
Be sure to follow these safety tips every time you mow:
- Never mow barefoot! While this may seem very obvious many of the above cited injuries happen to people who are not wearing shoes when they mow. Not only should you wear shoes, they should be sturdy shoes or work boots. Canvas sneakers won’t protect against power mower blades.
- After it rains wait until your lawn dries completely before mowing. The number one cause of injuries associated with mowing is losing control of a mower and slipping on wet grass.
- Do not let children ride on your lap while you mow the lawn. Also, be sure to make it a rule that your children do not come out onto the lawn when the mower is on. It’s nearly impossible to hear children calling you or coming up behind you over the noise of the mower. Children under the age of 14 are one of the two most at risk group for mower injuries.
- When the mower is running, don’t try to pull it backward.
- Use the clip bag to catch any objects that are on the lawn like sticks or small rocks so that they don’t fly out from the mower and strike you or someone else in the yard.
- When shopping for a new mower, look for one with a release mechanism on the handle that will cause the mower to shut off automatically when your hands let go.
Any injury you do get from a lawn mower needs to be treated immediately. Even a small cut can quickly become infected because mower blades are so dirty. If you see any sign of infection—red streaks, pus or discharge or fever contact our Venice office immediately so our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey can take a look and determine if you have an infection and need an antibiotic.