Growing up on a farm, I had a lot of chores but I was lucky enough not to have to mow our grass (my dad and uncle took care of that since I was so young). I actually never even got behind a lawn mower until I was in my twenties. Even though I was an adult with a pretty good head on my shoulders, my dad still took me though a long list of tips that I needed to know in order to safely operate our lawn mower. The following blog post was submitted from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids and addresses the importance of mowing safety:
Whether you live on the farm or in the city, you know that giving kids chores teaches them valuable lessons. Mowing the yard is often one of the first responsibilities given to youth. Putting a kid behind the controls of a lawn mower is no different than putting them in the driver’s seat of a tractor or car.
Even though a lawn mower is smaller in size, the potential for injury is there. As such, lawn mowers need to be treated with the same respect.
Is your child ready to tackle mowing the lawn? If you answer yes to ALL of these questions, they might be ready for the job.
- Can the youth reach the necessary controls without moving from the seat on a riding mower?
- Does the youth have the physical strength to push a walk-behind mower?
- Has the youth been trained in proper operation of the mower?
- Does the youth know safety is the top priority?
- Has the youth observed safe lawn mowing behavior by an adult?
If your child is ready, explain the dangers of flying objects and stress the importance of wearing long pants and sturdy shoes as well as eye and ear protection.
Teach safe operating procedures:
- Mow across slopes when using a walk behind mower.
- Mow up and down slopes when using a riding mower.
- Mow dry grass.
- Never point the discharge chute at anyone.
- Never drive or push a running mower over gravel.
- Shut off the engine before servicing.
- Always fill the gas tank outside of any buildings and only when the engine is cool.
- Keep the engine free of oil spills, grass, and leaves.
For more information about lawn mower safety, visit www.fs4jk.org or call 1-800-423-5437.
How old were you when you first mowed the lawn? What tips did your parents share with you?
Editor’s Note: Massey Ferguson has grounds care equipment in some regions of the world, such as the UK. Take a look at the variety of products, including lawn mowers, offered at: http://www.masseyferguson.com/EMEA/GB/products/21.aspx