Spring is officially here and it feels amazing to get outside and enjoy the warm weather before the high heat of summer really kicks in. Humans are not the only ones to raise their heads to the sun and exclaim “Ahhhh!” Trees and flowers are blooming – and the grass needs cutting.
Whether you’ve been cutting your own lawn for years or you’re lucky enough to have a lawn service, it’s still important each and every season to stop and think about lawn mower safety. Each year tens of thousands of people are injured from mower accidents. About 17,000 of these are children under the age of 19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Many of these injuries are to the feet and ankles.
Heidi M. Christie, DPM and Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists want you to take care of your feet while you take care of your lawn. Here are some general rules to follow when using a power mower:
- Wear shoes! It might seem like a no-brainer, but people do mow the lawn barefoot, and emergency rooms all over the country can attest to that fact by the number of people they treat for lawn mower-related foot injuries. What shoes are best? Closed-toed boots will give you the most protection. Sandals, flip-flops, or even sneakers are not recommended.
- Assess the territory before you start. Is the grass wet? – Wait until it dries before mowing so that you don’t slip. Remove rocks, branches, or other objects that can get thrown when the mower runs over them.
- Keep the kids inside. The news abounds with stories of children who get injured trying to jump onto the mower while it’s moving, falling off a riding mower and getting trapped underneath, or being accidently run over because the operator just didn’t see them. A simple rule: don’t let kids play outside when the lawn is being mowed.
- Take any foot injury seriously. Dirty cuts need to be promptly treated to prevent infection. Deep lacerations or worse require emergency treatment, followed by an appointment with us at our podiatry office in Montgomery, AL. For your convenience, we offer online appointment-making. If you prefer to make an appointment by phone, our dedicated staff is happy to take your call at (334) 396-3668.