It’s spring and we’re all spending more time outdoors. The Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper hopes you and your family enjoy the sunshine while taking a few extra precautions to protect little ones, whether in a park or in your yard. Below are tips on safety while mowing the lawn and others on safety around dogs.
Each year, many children are injured severely by lawn mowers. Power mowers can be especially dangerous. However, most lawn mower-related injuries can be prevented by following these safety guidelines. Before mowing the lawn:
- Family on front lawnMake sure that children are indoors or at a safe distance well away from the area that you plan to mow.
- Read the lawn mower operator’s manual and the instructions on the mower.
- Check conditions: Do not mow during bad weather, such as during a thunderstorm. Do not mow wet grass. Do not mow without enough daylight.
- Clear the mowing area of any objects, such as twigs, stones, and toys, that could be picked up and thrown by the lawn mower blades.
- Make sure that protective guards, shields, the grass catcher, and other types of safety equipment are placed properly on the lawn mower and that your mower is in good condition.
- Never allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on lawn mowers or garden tractors.
- Keep in mind that lawn trimmers also can throw objects at high speed.
- Remain aware of where children are and do not allow them near the area where you are working. Children tend to be attracted to mowers in use.
- Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or walking away from the mower.
Did you know that every year more than 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs, with more than half of all victims younger than age 14. Following are tips to help parents protect their children from an encounter with canine teeth:
- Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
- Teach your child to see if the dog is with an owner and looks friendly. Then ask the owner for permission to pet the dog. Let the dog sniff your child and have your child touch the dog gently, avoiding the face, head and tail.
- Tell your child not to bother a dog if it is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
- Tell your child not to run past a dog.
- If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. Avoid eye contact. Stand still until the dog leaves or back away slowly. If you are knocked down, curl into a ball and protect your face with your hands. If a dog bites your child, clean small wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention for larger wounds. Contact the dog’s veterinarian to check vaccination records.
For your own pet:
- Pick a good match. Collies and Labrador retrievers are some of the animals recommended as generally safe with children. Consult your veterinarian for details about the behavior of different breeds.
- Socialize your pet. Gradually expose your puppy to a variety of people and other animals so it feels at ease in these situations; continue this exposure as your dog gets older.
- Train your dog. Commands can build a bond of obedience and trust between man and beast. Avoid aggressive games like wrestling or tug-of-war with your dog.
- Vaccinate your dog against rabies and other diseases.
- Neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite.