Steer Children Clear of Lawn Mover Injuries
National Medical Societies’ Safety Tips Help Kids Avoid Becoming a Statistic
CHICAGO – As the school year draws to a close, thousands of children across the country will take on a familiar chore: mowing the lawn. June is National Home Safety Month and five national medical organizations are warning Americans that the routine task of lawn mowing can be extremely dangerous to children, the operator, and those nearby if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
Sadly, 253,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries in 2010, nearly 17,000 of them children under age 19, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. Lawn mower-related injuries are up 3 percent since 2009.
“Lawn mower injuries to children are easily preventable,” said ASRM President Keith Brandt, MD. “Children should remain inside the house or under the direct supervision of another adult, whenever a lawn mower is being used. If no other adult is available, create a danger zone of 20 feet around the mower. Shut down immediately if anyone enters the danger zone.”
To help prevent injuries, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) are educating adults and children about the importance of lawn mower safety.
“The ASMS is a proud partner in the coalition for lawn mower injury prevention,” said ASMS President Steven Buchman, MD. “The significant number of devastating injuries that occur to both children and adults can be life changing events.”
“I’ve seen broken and dislocated bones, deep cuts, missing fingers and toes, limb amputations, burns, and eye injuries from lawn mower accidents,” said ASPS President Phillip Haeck, MD. “The best way to treat a lawn mower-related injury is to prevent it.”
“I cannot stress the importance of operating a lawn mower properly. The dangers are very real, but very preventable,” said AAOS President Daniel J. Berry, MD. “Always remember to wear sturdy shoes—never sandals—when mowing and make sure your children are at a safe distance and that they don’t operate a mower until they are old enough to control the machine.”
Lawn mower injury prevention tips include:
Lawn mowers can be a cause of serious eye injury. This year the AAP Section on Ophthalmology has added the following to its safety tips: Children in the vicinity of running lawn mowers should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times.
"Every year at this time, it is common to see children operating or playing around lawn mowers in unsafe ways. And every summer, thousands get hurt," said AAP President O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP. "We want parents and kids to be more aware of precautions to take so that injuries can be prevented."
To help educate the public, the ASRM, ASPS, and ASMS offer a video, “When Lawn Mowers Attack,” with tips on how to avoid injuries.
The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery is an organization of more than 600 surgeons that perform microsurgery and other complex reconstructive surgeries. The ASRM is dedicated to promoting, encouraging and advancing the art and science of microsurgery and other complex reconstructions through education and research. .
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world, with more than 7,000 members. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. ASPS Member Surgeons are certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
The American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons is the oldest organization representing maxillofacial plastic surgeons. The Society accomplishes its mission to advance the science and practice of surgery of the facial region and the craniofacial skeleton through excellence in education and research, and advocacy on behalf of patients and practitioners.
With more than 36,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the premier not-for-profit organization that provides education programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions the interests of patients and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal health.
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