Spring is here and that means it's time to start mowing the lawn. But, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), giving a child a ride on a riding lawnmower or tractor or allowing a child to play near any type of lawnmower could be a fatal mistake.
According to CPSC, an estimated 75 people are killed in riding mower accidents each year. One of every five deaths associated with riding mowers, lawn tractors, and garden tractors involves young children. Deaths and injuries most often occur when the youngsters fall off the mower and are run over, or when children fall in the moving mower's path.
A government survey shows that about 55 percent of households with children under age 10 allow youngsters to ride on lawn mowing equipment. CPSC says deaths and injuries to young children could be reduced or eliminated if children were prohibited from riding garden tractors and riding mowers, and from playing in the area where the machines are being used.
CPSC and equipment manufacturers urge riding lawnmower and tractor users to follow these safety precautions:
-Never take a child for a ride on a garden tractor or a riding mower.
-Keep children indoors and supervised at all times when any outdoor power equipment is being used. Young children move quickly and are attracted to mowers and mowing activity, especially if they have been given rides before.
-Never assume children will remain where you last saw them. Be alert and turn the mower off if children enter the area. Use extra care when backing up or when approaching corners, shrubs, and trees.
-Never allow a child to operate a riding mower or tractor, even if the child is supervised.
-Clear the mowing area of objects such as rocks, toys, wire, etc., which could be picked up and thrown by the blade.
The CPSC is issuing this warning as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
For lifesaving information: