Lawn mowers not for kids

Lots of rain in many parts of the country means that grass is growing like, well, a weed, and some Canadians may already be getting their fill of cutting it.

TORONTO — Lots of rain in many parts of the country means that grass is growing like, well, a weed, and some Canadians may already be getting their fill of cutting it. But that doesn’t mean lawn mower operators should be lax when it comes to safety, which is still essential to help prevent injury.

Lawn mower accidents can cause serious injuries to legs, arms, fingers, toes or other body parts. Between 1990 and 2006, a total of 1,161 patients visited Canadian hospitals for lawn mower-related injuries.

Preventing injuries:

• Never allow children to play on a lawn mower, even if it is turned off

• Never allow a child to ride on a riding lawn mower with you

• Keep children indoors and do not allow children to play nearby while you are mowing

• Children should be at least 12 before operating any lawn mower and at least 16 to operate a riding mower

• Before mowing pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects

• Wear shoes, not sandals, and use eye and hearing protection

• Start and refuel mowers outdoors, never in a garage

• Refuel with the motor turned off and cool

• Only adults should adjust blade settings

• After mowing, wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads.