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Tragedy Highlights Lawnmower Safety in South FLorida

Some people enjoying mowing the lawn. Others see it as a chore. But most of us don’t recognize the risks that are involved.
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According to FOX29, a Palm Harbor girl is facing serious surgery after losing both her legs in a recent lawnmower accident. This is her fourth surgery. It happened when her father backed over her while he was mowing the family’s lawn. So far, there has been about $15,000 raised to help the family cover the medical bills, but there’s a lot more needed. A charity has donated a lifetime of top-quality prosthetics.

Our Weston personal injury attorneys understand that, for about 70,000 people this year, mowing the lawn will turn into a brush with death or serious injury. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), roughly 800 children are run over by riding lawnmowers or small tractors each year. Overall, about 75 are killed and other 20,000 are injured. One out of every five of these accidents involved a child.

Lawnmowers come equipped with steel cutting blades that spin at more than 2,000 revolutions a minute. Depending on how long that blade is, the tip can be moving up to 200 miles per hour.

“The energy transferred by a typical lawnmower blade is equivalent to being shot in the hand with a .357 magnum pistol,” reports the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Risk of injury involving lawnmowers comes from more than just contact with the blade. You also have to worry about flying rocks, sticks and other materials, fires ignited by the gasoline, dangers involving tipping the mower, losing control of it and even hot surfaces from the mower’s engine.

You want to stay safe while using a lawnmower. Your first step should be making sure that the mower is in good working condition. When something breaks or stalls, you should always have is professionally fixed. You should also follow these tips:

-Never operate your mower without the proper safety equipment.

-Stay aware of the dead-man switch.

-Make sure you’re always dressed appropriately. Always wear full shoes and safety glasses.

-Before you start on your yard, make sure you do a quick run through to make sure that there is no debris on it.

-Always stay aware of your surroundings. You especially want to keep an eye on kids. Never let anyone get near while you’re operating the lawnmower.

-Never allow children to ride on the lawnmower.

-Never allow children under the age of 12 to operate a walk-behind lawnmower (American Academy of Pediatrics).

Some of the most common results from these kinds of accidents are amputations. Each year, there are thousands of amputations performed because of accidents involving children. These amputations oftentimes happen to the hand, arm, foot or leg.

Lawn mowing might seem like a chore — but it’s a dangerous one. Make sure you’re focused and safety is your number on priority while cutting the grass. Don’t focus on how quickly you can get it done. Focus on how safely you can get it done.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Florida Pedestrian Safety a Summer Concern, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 17, 2013

Rollover Accidents Can Cause Injury But There are Ways to Stay Safe, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, April 13, 2013

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