Palmetto Health urges lawnmower safety for children



It's finally summertime, which means the sun is out longer and you have more time to work in your yard.

Summertime also means children are out of school, and they may be helping you with the yard work.

Palmetto Health wants parents to remember to keep children away from dangerous yard equipment such as lawnmowers.

In the United States, more than 9,000 children go to the emergency room because of lawnmower-related injuries each year, states a release from the health care provider.

The sharp, fast-moving blades of a mower can cause severe cuts, broken bones and even severed limbs.

Lawnmower injuries are the leading cause of traumatic amputations for children, with most incidents taking place in their own yards.

Orthopedic surgeon Kristen Nathe, M.D., of Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, has seen the results of these types of injuries.

"It's important for parents to know what can happen so they can make sure it doesn't happen to their children," she said.

Nathe said a child can sustain injuries from a lawnmower by:

- Falling near the lawnmower;

- Getting run over or struck by the lawnmower;

- Falling when riding with the operator of the lawnmower; and

- Simply touching the hot surface of a lawnmower that has been in the sun.

Fortunately, most of these injuries can be easily avoided, states the release.

Nathe offers the following tips to help keep children safe around lawnmowers:

- Do not allow children on riding lawnmowers;

- Carefully look for children behind you before mowing in reverse;

- Do not leave a running lawnmower unattended;

- Do not use your hands or feet to remove debris from a mower; and

- If a lawnmower-related injury occurs, call 911 right away.

Nathe also recommends that parents not let children younger than 12 years old use a push lawnmower and should not let children younger than 16 years old operate a riding lawnmower.

For more information about Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, go to or call (803) 907-0350.