Dos and Don’ts of Mowing the Lawn

Do people learn from history? Or are we doomed to repeat it, as the pundits say? At Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, we like to think that humans are always striving to improve themselves – changing their behavior in order to avoid the unpleasantness, difficulty, or danger of the past.

Unfortunately, learning from mistakes – either our own or someone else’s – can be slow-going. For example, thousands of people are injured every year by lawn mowers but there are people out there who still don’t use nearly enough caution.

A lawnmower is pretty much a moving power tool and its moving parts reside darn close to your feet. So there are behaviors to engage in when you’re around these grass-cutters so that they don’t become human limb-cutters as well. When the lawn needs mowing…

DO check the operator’s birth certificate. The American Academy of Pediatrics says “most children will not be ready to operate a walk-behind power mower or hand mower until at least 12 years of age or a ride-on mower until at least 16 years of age.” Even so, each child should be considered individually as to their physical and mental ability to perform this often dangerous chore.

DO keep small children inside the house while you mow. Little kids can move quickly and they don’t understand physics well enough to know where the mower’s headed or how fast it’s going. If they’re safely inside the house, they can’t get in your path.

DON’T mow through a minefield of obstacles. Before you even pull the mower out of the shed, survey the yard and remove any tools, toys, large rocks, or branches. When run over by a mower, these can be hurled through the air and hit anyone close by – or yards away.

DON’T wear flip-flops, sandals, sneakers or go barefoot. Hundreds of people go to the emergency room every year with foot injuries from mowing the lawn without proper footwear.

DO wear a pair of solid, heavy work boots. They’re your best protection from slipping or tripping, which could cause you to either let go of the lawn mower or slide right into its sharp blades!

Despite our best efforts, injuries will probably always happen. Call 911 for an emergency and be sure to follow-up with qualified podiatrists Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts with any recurring foot pain or problems. You can reach our Montgomery, AL podiatry office online or by phone at (334) 396-3668.