6 Ways to Protect Your Feet When Mowing
You may not think of your lawn mower as a hazard, but with the kinetic energy of a .357 handgun and blades that whirl at 3,000 rotations per minute, it has the potential to cause serious injury to toes and feet. Fortunately, many of the thousands of emergency room visits that occur each year as the result of mower accidents can be prevented. Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle would like to offer these six reminders to help keep your feet safe when mowing the lawn.
Wear sturdy shoes. Bare feet, flip-flops or other open shoes are obviously bad choices for lawn mowing and yet, each year, injuries to barefoot mowers are reported. Heavy shoes like work boots are the best choice. Even canvas sneakers will not protect you adequately from a moving mower blade.
Never mow a wet lawn. Losing control of a mower on a slippery lawn is one of the most common causes of severe mower injuries. Always wait until the grass is completely dry before cutting.
Take special precautions with children. Youngsters under the age of 14 are one of the high-risk categories for lawn mower accidents (adults over 44 is the other category most at risk). Children should never come out on the lawn or try to get your attention when mowing. It’s also totally unsafe to ever give your child a ride on the mower. Small feet can easily get caught in the blades getting up or down on the mower.
Clear the lawn before you start. Rocks, sticks and small toys can become weapon-like projectiles that can hit someone nearby if they get shot out from under a moving mower. Keeping the clip bag attached will further reduce risk.
Avoid shortcuts. Don’t try to pull a running mower backwards. Mow slopes back and forth slowly, not up and down.
Treat injuries promptly. Even minor cuts should be cleaned out immediately and covered with antibiotic ointment and a bandage. For more serious injuries, contact our foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Kales, by calling our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office immediately or go directly to the emergency room if the injury is severe.