June 8, 2009

Doctors fight attack of lawnmowers

Doctors from several U.S. medical societies say they have formed the lawnmower injury prevention coalition to help prevent injuries.

Lawn mowing can be dangerous to the operator as well as those nearby if proper safety precautions aren't taken, Dr. John Canady of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says in a statement. Physicians in this coalition often repair these heart wrenching injuries, and we feel it's our duty to help people avoid these accidents in the first place.

In addition to those in ASPS, the coalition includes members of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

To prevent injuries the doctors advise to:

-- Keep children a safe distance away. Never allow any passengers or let anyone younger than age 12 operate a lawnmower, or anyone younger than 16 operate a ride-on mower.

-- Wear protection for eyes and hearing as well as sturdy shoes.

-- Pick up debris before mowing to prevent flying objects.

-- Refuel and start mower outdoors with the motor off and cool.

-- Blades should be set by an adult. Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads.

-- Don't mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, carefully looking for others behind you when you do.