Tips from Toby: Staying safe while doing lawn work

This week Toby Tobin takes a look at ways you can keep yourself and your kids safe while doing yard work.

WARNING: Video contains graphic images.

It's so easy to forget, but every time you start your mower or string trimmer, chainsaw or hedge trimmers, you are dealing with a dangerous and potentially deadly piece of equipment. Children under 10 are the biggest victims. Last year more than 200,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for lawn care accidents. More than 16,000 of those were children under the age of 19 who actually lost limbs. In fact, the leading cause of amputations to children under the age of 10 is caused by lawn power equipment, according to Tobin.

Tobin said most people mow their lawn over 30 times each year and the frequency of accidents greatly increase in August when it's hot and we are tired of mowing the lawn.

“We're hearing stories every week from people losing fingers on hedge trimmers, losing toes and doing damage on string trimmers, getting their feet too close to the mower deck, picking up trash, just need to take the time and slow down if you can,” Tom Diltz with Smitty's Lawn and Garden Equipment said.

Here's a quick checklist of things to do before you mow and trim your lawn:

  • Pick up all items in your lawn before you start. Even a little toy can come shooting out of your lawn mower at the speed of a bullet.
  • Always wear proper shoes that have good traction. Never wear sandals or bare feet.
  • Always be very careful when backing up with tractors. Make sure no one is behind you before putting it in reverse.
  • Always wear hearing and eye protection.
  • Always refuel equipment outdoors and not in your garage. Never refuel a hot piece of equipment. Wait until it's cooled down.
  • Don't try to use damaged piece of equipment, and never let children run power equipment.

Even though kids love to play in the yard while you're out doing all the hard work, it is important to explain the dangers to your kids and it's best to have them stay indoors while you are mowing or working in your lawn.

Tobin said it's easy to think this will never happen to you, but sadly the odds are pretty high. Those odds of accidents are even higher for children who are just standing in the yard, so spend the extra time and be careful.

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