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How Can I Prevent Lawn Mower Accidents and Injuries?

Year after year, thousands of people across the country are injured in lawn mower accidents. Most of these injuries are completely preventable if those operating the lawn equipment use more caution. As a renter, you may have the responsibility for cutting the grass at your house or the back yard at your townhouse. Taking a little extra time out to simply review some basic thoughts about safety can help you get through the summer lawn care season without any accidents or injuries.

1. At the outset of the lawn care season, make sure to inspect the mower to ensure it is operating properly. Change the oil and drain out any old gas that might have been left over from last year.

2. Make sure all safety shields are attached and properly in place to prevent debris from flying out from under the mower and hitting someone or your rental home.

3. Take the time to get the blades sharpened at the outset of the season. This will give you a better cut and will help keep the mower functioning at its peak efficiency.

4. Before cutting for the first time, rake out the yard to get rid of any twigs, sticks or rocks that may have surface over the course of the winter. Be on lookout for these same types of debris before each subsequent cut throughout the summer. Also look out for children's toys or anything else that might get stuck in the blade or sent flying out the mower discharge.

5. Always wear shoes and long pants when mowing. Also, safety glasses and gloves are highly advisable to minimize the risk of injury.

6. Never use your hands or feet to remove debris from a running mower. If you must clean off the deck during the cut job, turn the mower off and wait for the blades to stop completely before proceeding. Never inspect the mower while it is running.

7. On hilly yards, work up and down steep inclines rather than across them to avoid tipping over and potentially injuring yourself.

8. Never leave a mower unattended while it is running. Shut a mower off before walking away, even if you intend to return very quickly.

9. Never cut the grass while there are children in the yard. Send them to the front or side yard or in the house if you are doing the back. Keep children safe by exercising as much caution as possible while mowing. Children are often the injured ones in lawn mowing accidents even when they are not the ones doing the cutting.

10. Do not allow children who cannot handle the mower to cut grass. This means both the physical ability to operate the mower including the ability to start it up, and the know how to make smart choices for safe operation. When you are working with a youth on learning how to cut, always stay with them while they work.

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