Lawn Care Equipment Safety For Kids
It’s summertime, and that means hours of yard work occur each week for most families. It’s a great idea to get your children involved with maintaining your home and yard work is a big part of that regular maintenance. However, ensuring that they are safe is far more important than how straight they mow. Below we will discuss some easy ways to ensure that your big and little ones are safe this year when helping in the yard.
What type of lawn mower do you have? Most of the newer models, push or riding, have a safety mechanism built in that stops the blade when a hand comes off the handle or a bottom off of the seat. This is very important if your pre-teen or teen is mowing. For example, he or she could hit a bump that they didn’t notice, and be thrown off the machine. If the blade is stopped immediately, there is less danger for a more serious accident. It’s also advised by safety professionals that children under 16 should not be allowed to ride or use a riding lawn mower. Also, children under the age of 12 should not be allowed to operate a push lawn mower.
Practice Safety First
Good chances are that your yard has a variety of tree limbs, rocks, toys, and a manner of other items throughout it. Teach your children that before turning the lawn mower on, take a look at your yard and remove any debris first. Next, make sure that they are wearing the correct shoes. Open-toed shoes are a no-go. Make sure that they are wearing closed-toe shoes such as tennis shoes or boots.
Next, find a “cool” looking pair of shades which will provide eye protection. Also, be sure that sun protection is applied before any action happens and that it is reapplied every 3-4 hours depending upon the individual sunscreen application recommendations. It’s also very important to stay hydrated! Always have water available and promote healthy break times. A big thing to keep in mind is that most of this will come natural if your children have seen you practice the same safety precautions over the years.
Encourage them to stay in the yard and to avoid gravel and concrete areas. As they get more advanced in their techniques, they will do better about maneuvering around bushes, trees, etc. However, when first starting, help them with this part and have them watch you.
If you have smaller children, make sure they stay inside and out of the yard. As much as they may want to go help their big brother or sister, their safety is most important. You all can watch together through the window and they can learn from an early age just by observing.
It’s important to recognize their willingness to help if and when they offer. However, as their parent or guardian, it is also very important to promote and ensure safety in operation of any lawn equipment. If they’re too young to operate the equipment, find another helpful task that they can help you with such as picking up toys, rocks, and sticks from the yard. This way they still feel that they are contributing but in a safe way. Have a great, safe summer!