m moving forward if the handle is released.
Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.
Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads.
'Though mowing the lawn can be a great form of physical activity, it can also cause harm if the proper precautions are not taken,' explained Richard F. Kyle, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS President. 'It's important that people take their time when mowing the lawn, and teach kids at an early age to stay clear of these machines when they are running.'
Many lawn mower-related injuries require a team of physicians from various specialties to properly repair them. Often, patients must endure painful reconstructive operations to restore form and function.
'Physicians in plastic surgery, microsurgery, pediatric surgery, and orthopaedics are at the forefront in repairing these injuries and see, firsthand, how devastating they can be for children and their families,' said ASPS President Bruce Cunningham, MD. 'It is equally important for us to aid in the prevention of these injuries as it is to repair them.'
'The sad thing is that so many of these tragic injuries are avoidable,' said Eileen M. Ouellette, MD, JD, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 'A few simple precautions can protect thousands of children.'
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