Human beings tend to perceive familiar things as safe and unfamiliar things as dangerous. This is one reason why some people are uncomfortable with natural yards. It also means that people who have always maintained a lawn may underestimate the hazards associated with lawnmowers.
Over 200,000 Americans a year are admitted to hospitals with lawnmower-related injuries, up to and including accidental amputations of hands and feet. One in ten hospital admissions that are related to accidents are related to accidents involving lawnmowers. In 2009, over 17,000 people died in such accidents.
If you choose to mow your lawn, please do so safely! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following precautions:
- Wear closed-toed shoes, close-fitting clothing, safety goggles, and hearing protection.
- Do not pull the mower backwards. When mowing on a slope, go across, not up and down. (Unless you are using a riding mower, in which case you should do the opposite.)
- Avoid running over obstacles such as toys, sticks, tree roots, and curbs. Fixed objects may damage the mower; loose objects can be launched at up to 200 miles per hour.
- Do not allow children or pets to play near where you are mowing.
- Do not mow wet grass.
- When turning off the mower to cross a grassless area, reach underneath, or walk away, wait for the blades to stop completely.