The official start of summer was yesterday, but chances are, you've had to mow your lawn a few times already this season. Most of the time, your yard work goes off without a hitch but for many Americans, things don't go so smoothly. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, over 250,000 Americans show up in emergency rooms each year with injuries they sustained while using a lawn mower. Today, the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics would like to tell you about some common lawn mower injuries and how to prevent them.
- Lacerations are the most common type of lawn mower injury, for obvious reasons. The blades on a lawn mower are sharp and spin at 3,000 RPMs or more. When using a lawn mower, keep your hands and feet away from the blades and take special care when performing maintenance.
- Fractures can also occur and are often seen in conjunction with lacerations. Spinning lawn mower blades can impart a great deal of force which can be enough to break bones, especially the delicate bones of the hands and feet. Spinning blades can also throw objects like rocks at high speeds, so watch out for obstacles while mowing.
- Amputations of the fingers and toes are frequently seen in lawn mower injuries. In some cases, severed body parts may be able to be reattached, but recovery can be difficult and painful. Again, keep all your body parts clear of the mower deck even when the blades are not spinning. It is also a good idea to wear closed toed shoes, such as tennis shoes, while mowing the yard.
- Children and Lawn Mower Injuries: Of the quarter-million annual lawn mower injuries, nearly 10,000 involve children. Lawn mowers should be stored out of reach of small children and no child under the age of 16 should use a lawn mower (even then, adult supervision is a good idea).
The physicians and staff at Resurgens Orthopaedics want you to have a great summer. Dealing with an injury is no way to spend those sunny summer months, so please be careful, and if you do experience a lawn mower injury, call us or schedule an appointment online with one of our physicians today. We will help you get back to your summer fun!