Here in greater Hartford and Middlesex Counties, lawns are getting green and that means that the spring and summer chore of mowing the grass will soon be starting up again. At Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we know that thousands of people sustain serious foot and toe injuries every year from mower accidents. What’s worse, most of these injuries could have been avoided. Below are some simple precautions that we’d like all of our patients to take to prevent mower injuries this season.
Get off to a safe start—have your mower checked and serviced before the first cut of the season to avoid malfunctions. If you are buying a new mower, make sure you get one with a switch that shuts off the machine automatically if your hands leave the mower. Read the user’s manual completely before using a new mower.
Wear protective shoes—don’t even think about mowing your lawn barefoot or in flip flops or other open shoes. Even if it’s hot out, work boots are your best choice. Mower blades whirl at 3,000 rotations per minute—that’s powerful enough to cut through sneakers and canvas shoes.
Make sure conditions are right—never mow a lawn that hasn’t completely dried out after a rainstorm. Losing control of a mower on a slippery lawn is the top cause of emergency room visits resulting from lawnmower injuries. Also be sure that your yard is cleared of debris, sticks, toys, and rocks that can be picked up and shot out of your mower causing serious injury to bystanders.
Keep children at a safe distance—teach youngsters not to set foot on the lawn while you’re mowing. Never give a child a ride on a mower. Too many tragedies occur when small feet get stuck under a mower climbing up or down.
Mow smart—for hills, mow slowly back and forth. Don’t go up and down and never try to pull a running mower backward. Make wide turns. Avoid mowing the lawn when you are tired or don’t feel well.
If you do sustain a non-emergency injury from a mower blade or twist an ankle on a slope, contact one of our six Hartford and Middlesex County offices. Our podiatrists, Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. will examine your injured foot and make sure that your foot injury receives the proper treatment.