Contact: Brock Bergey, (608) 224-5007
MADISON – Whether you “mow the lawn” or “cut the grass,” the weekly task can be dangerous when not done with care. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection urges people to think about safety before starting their riding or walk-behind mowers.
“Both types of lawn mowers can cause serious injuries,” said Sandy Chalmers, Administrator of the Division of Trade and Consumer Protection. “These injuries can include deep cuts, loss of fingers or toes, eye injuries, and even limb amputations.”
In 2009, the latest year national numbers are available, 247,000 Americans were treated for lawn mower-related injuries – more than 18,000 of them were under age 19. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, these injuries increased seven percent since 2008.
“Young children should not be allowed to operate lawn mowers, nor play around them,” added Chalmers. “Parents really need to talk to their kids about lawn mower-related dangers.”
Consumer Protection offers the following tips to keep your family safe during the lawn mowing season:
- Children should never be passengers on riding mowers.
- Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
- Young children should be at a safe distance from the area being mowed.
- Pick up debris, yard tools, and hoses from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
- Do not use a lawnmower on hills unless you know how to do so properly.
- Do not mow when the grass is wet and slippery.
- Wear eye and hearing protection.
- Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
- Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when backing up.
- Maintain your lawnmower so that it operates properly.
- Regularly check for recalls affecting your lawn mower at www.recalls.gov or www.cpsc.gov.
For more consumer information, visit the Wisconsin Bureau of Consumer Protection's website at datcp.wisconsin.gov; via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or call toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.