Keep Children Safe from Lawn Mower Injuries: Tips to Know Before You Mow

Parents and caregivers of young children know how important it is to keep them safe while they grow and explore. Keeping medications up and away, putting gates across stairs, and so much more goes into raising healthy and safe toddlers and preschoolers. These safety strategies protect little ones from dangers they don’t understand. When it’s time to cut the grass, use the same principle: keep young kids away from the mower.

Lawn mowers are powerful machines that can cause painful and even life-threatening injuries in just a few seconds. While some families view lawn mower rides as a way to bond and spend time outside together, the risks just aren’t worth it. Teach children that lawn mowers aren’t toys and model this by not giving them rides or pulling them behind the mower (even when the blades are off).

If you want to get your child involved in yard work, there are plenty of other things to do together that don’t include the mower. Ask them to help you pick up sticks, rocks, and other items from the lawn, so the mower doesn’t fling them at someone. Let them spread flower seeds, water plants, pull weeds, or rake grass or leaves. When it is time to bring the mower out, send young children inside with another adult. They can come back outside to play when the mower is cooled down and put away.

Raising young children needs some creativity and patience to keep them safe while nurturing their growth. You can protect them from lawn mower injuries with some simple steps:

Send young children inside. The safest place for a young child while the mower is running is inside the house with appropriate supervision. If they must be outside, make sure they are with a responsible adult and they stay as far away from the mower as possible – for example, in the front yard while you mow the backyard.

Mow by yourself. Both riding and push mowers are known to cause serious injuries to children. If you want to involve your child in yard work, include them in safer chores like picking up sticks, pulling weeds, or raking. When the mower is in use, send them inside.

Put it away. When you’re finished mowing the lawn, prevent burns by putting the mower away so it can cool down out of the reach of children.

Learn more about lawn mower safety in our toolkit: www.preventchildinjury.org/toolkits/lawn-mower-safety

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