By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is supposed to be a beautiful weekend for yard work but, be aware, your lawn mower is a potentially hazardous machine. There were more than 250,000 mower-related injuries, nationally, in 2010. A local doctor says children are particularly vulnerable.
It may seem like a tender scene: dad on the riding mower, young son on his lap learning to steer.
Not so, says Dr. Pete Gabos “If you see the horrifying injuries we see every year from lawn mowers. And the real tragedy is they’re so easily preventable.”
Dr. Gabos says he sees 10-12 of these accidents a year. “They’re injuries we just should never see if people followed simple, common sense rules about lawn mower safety,” such as keeping children indoors during grass cutting and making sure youngsters are properly trained when they take over lawn duty.
Dr. Gabos has seen too many of those injuries in the Nemours/Dupont E.R. that result when the child falls off.
“You get injuries that are directly a cause of the blade itself, usually soft tissue and bone injuries to the hand and feet and these are devastating injuries. These cause immediate amputations; the tissue is very severely damaged. And they also occur in very dirty environments so these injuries usually come in presenting with large amounts of grass, dirt, mulch, all sorts of debris, inside the soft tissue.”
Dr. Gabos says lawn mowers also can turn sticks and rocks into projectiles that injure the face and eyes.