The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission finds that more than 35,000 Americans suffer a power lawnmower-related injury every year. Today, Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County is sharing his tips for avoiding this type of injury.
The blades of a lawnmower whirl at about 3,000 turns per minute and create three times the dynamic energy of a .357 gun. But we still see patients who have been hurt while mowing the lawn barefoot! The injuries range anywhere from amputated toes to severed tendons and lacerations that are prone to infection.
In the event of this type of injury, treatment is needed immediately to thoroughly clean the wound and antibiotics need to be applied to guard against infection.
Wounds that are more superficial in nature can be treated as an outpatient procedure, while more serious injuries typically require surgery. When tendons are severed in mower accidents they can usually be reattached surgically unless some of the toes have been amputated.
Studies show that children who are under the age of 15 and adults who are over the age of 45 are more often injured from mowers than others.
If you use a power mower to cut your lawn, you need to take a few simple precautions:
- Wear work boots or heavy shoes when mowing—no sandals or sneakers.
- Don’t mow the lawn when it’s wet, because losing control from slipping on rain-soaked wet grass is the most common cause of foot injuries caused by power lawnmowers.
- When operating a power mower, keep the clip bag attached to prevent injuries from a flying object.
- Never go up and down, instead, mow slowly across slopes.
- Make sure your mower has a release tool on the handle that automatically turns it off when the hands release it.
- Never pull a running mower backward.
- When mowing the lawn, always keep children away from the lawn.
- Treat any injuries immediately.