Study warns of hazards for children and older adults
Mowing the lawn can be a weekly ritual of the spring and summer months for many Americans. However each year, nearly 80,000 Americans require hospital treatment from injuries caused by lawn mowers, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers also concluded that the number of injuries from lawn mowers is increasing, with the majority of injuries occurring in children under age 15 and adults age 60 and older. The most common injuries were caused by strikes from debris, such as rocks and branches, propelled by the mower’s spinning blades. The study, published in the April 2006 online edition of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, is the first to examine the extent and mechanisms of lawn mower injuries nationwide.
"There is no reason anyone under 12 should ever be injured by a lawn mower," said David Bishai, MD, PhD, MPH, senior author of the study and associate professor in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School. "If we would keep the kids off the lawn when mowing and off the riding mowers we could greatly reduce the number of injuries each year." The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no one under age 16 should use a riding mower, and no one under age 12 should use a push mower.
"These are machines with sharp blades spinning at 160 miles per hour just inches away from our feet and hands. Everyone needs to respect the dangers and use common sense," said Bishai.
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
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