We all know lawn mowers can be dangerous, but when they are a regular part of your routine, it is easy to forget and treat them casually. One Indiana family was brutally reminded of the dangers last year when their lawn mower lurched forward and critically injured their four-year-old son, who was playing on the grass. Fortunately, lawn mower accidents like this can be prevented. If you live in a cool-weather climate, you probably haven’t mowed your lawn since fall. There’s no better time to review lawn mower safety then before you turn your mower on for the first time this season.

5 lawn mower safety tips

  1. Make sure your lawn mower is in good working order. The blades should be sharp. The safety shield should be well-secured. The chutes should all be cleared.
  2. Disconnect the spark plugs when servicing your lawn mower. The only way to make sure there’s no chance your lawn mower will turn on when you’re working on it is to disconnect its power source. Disconnect the spark plugs, and you’re safe.
  3. Clear the lawn. Before you turn on the mower, clear the lawn of debris like branches or toys. And make sure kids and pets are nowhere to be seen.
  4. Mow when your lawn is dry. Your lawn is more slippery when it’s wet, and as the Clemson University Extension Services points out, wet clippings are more likely to clog your mower. A dry lawn is always safer.
  5. Wear the right clothing. Never wear shorts while mowing. Ditto for open-toed shoes

A lawn mower does not have to be a dangerous tool. Pay attention to these guidelines and avoid accidents.