Multiple lawnmower accidents prompt warnings from doctor
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Within a week, two men died and a child suffered serious injuries in three separate incidents while operating lawn mowers in Middle Tennessee.
It seems like a harmless chore, but if a lawn mower is not run properly, or if you're not paying attention, it could be dangerous.
"When you consider that the tips of blades of these mowers are going 200 miles per hour, there's a tremendous amount of force," said Dr. Warren Downs of TriStar Summit Medical Center in Hermitage.
Since last Wednesday, two Middle Tennessee landscapers died in two separate incidents while operating their commercial lawn mowers, and a 4-year-old boy from Lebanon was seriously injured when his 10-year-old sister accidentally ran over him with a lawnmower.
According to a family friend, the child is recovering at home and is "doing well".
"Most of the injuries that we see are momentary lapses. Hand injuries, foot injuries, but those are not rare," Dr. Downs said.
Dr. Downs explained that he and his colleagues in the emergency department typically see a spike of lawn mower related injuries as the summer months draw near.
In 2012, they saw approximately 20 tractor and lawnmower related injuries combined. They expect to see just as much if not more this year.
He also said that deaths related to commercial lawnmowers are common, especially if the machine rolls on the victim simply because of the weight.
The types of traumatic child injures they see in their ER are usually because the child gets too close or they are not mature enough to use the lawn mower.
Dr. Downs advices adults operating lawnmowers to make sure to stop the blade first if the machinery is malfunctioning, stay away from alcohol and wear proper attire, like protective eyewear, gloves and closed-toe shoes.
"Proper footwear is a big thing because you tend to slip less and it protects your feet if something does hit," he said.
Experts suggests children under the age of 16 shouldn't use a riding lawnmower, while a children under the age 12 shouldn't even use a push mower.