Dangers of mowing the lawn - AmericaNowNews.com

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Dangers of mowing the lawn

Lawn mowers are so much a part of our everyday lives that many of us forget how dangerous these grass cutting machines really are. But according to the Amputee Coalition of America, more than 600 children are injured by lawn mowers and lose fingers, hands, toes, feet and even legs each year.

It happened to 2-year-old Juliette Nau, who wandered into the path of her father's riding lawn mower. Her mother Leslie spoke to America Now.

"Both of her feet were crushed," says Leslie. "Four of her toes were amputated on the left foot. All of them except for the littlest one on the far left. The top of her foot was gone. The whole back of her foot was just hanging off, and blood pouring out of it."

Juliette has undergone seven operations and she'll need more surgeries in the future.

"My advice to anyone who operates a lawnmower is first and foremost appreciate that it's a really dangerous piece of machinery," says Leslie.

Nick Federoff is known as "America's Natural Master Gardner" and host of Things Green, a national radio show.

"There are so many preventative things that we can do to make sure a child doesn't get hurt with a lawnmower," says Nick. "Number one: Make sure they don't get on a riding lawnmower, period. And then be certain they are nowhere around a running lawn mower so they can't get their fingers and toes underneath where those blades are at."

But Federoff says lawn mowers aren't just dangerous for kids. Adults are also at risk – particularly when the grass is wet.

"Because number one, it's slippery," says Nick. "The next problem that we have is it clumps up.  And while it's going through those blades, it will actually build up on the inside of the lawn mower." 

Federoff says those clumps can cause the mower to malfunction.

"The first thing that ends up happening is that your natural instinct is to stick your hands in there. There's a blade in there running at so many RPMs, it'll take your finger off like that," says Nick.

For safety, Federoff recommends turning off the lawnmower and disconnecting the spark plug before clearing the chute.

"Here's where you're going to find the spark plug," says Nick, "You just pull it out. Just like that." 

Lawn mower injuries and amputations can be prevented. So remember Federoff's advice:

  • Never mow a wet lawn
  • Turn the mower off and disconnect the spark plug before clearing the chute
  • Keep children away from mowers and other garden equipment at all times

By following these simple rules you can avoid a serious accident that can have devastating consequences.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

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