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3 yo and lawn mowing - Page 3

post #41 of 76
While we allow our 7 yo to help mowing the lawn (with an adult whose sole focus is to supervise and walk the mower with him), I wouldn't let a 3 yo do it. My middle child probably won't do it until he's 8-10, either, because he's different from his older brother.

Much less impulse control, less ability to focus, greater potential for happens-in-a-second disasters. Blades turning, hot engine, rocks or sticks may fly out. Probably not good.
post #42 of 76
Honestly, I think some of are blowing the risks of lawn mowing *WAY* out of proportion. Yes, lawn mowers can be dangerous. But that does not mean that we hide inside while DH mows the lawn - DS1 is frequently outside pretending to mow w/ his mower while DH mows. Often I'm inside w/ ds2 cleaning inside, but sometimes we're all outside playing and mowing together. Lots of things *can* be dangerous, but that does not mean we freak out about them. I really wouldn't have any problems w/ mowing with ds2 on my back, in theory, though I'd probably invest in some ear protectors for him of some sort.... course' in practice, DH does 90% of the mowing (my dad helps out occasionally, as his back allows him), so its really not an issue for us. But we definetly don't stay inside for the 4 hours it takes DH to mow (our 'yard' is like 2 acres, probably. Its huge.)
post #43 of 76
I agree with PPs' suggestions of a reel mower, if that's doable.

Of course, then you get to have this lovely conversation at Sears:
Me: "Do you sell reel mowers"
Salesman: *confused look* "Um.. all of our mowers are real.."

Since reel mowers are so quiet, it might be possible to get up and mow in the morning before DH leaves for work? You wouldn't have to worry about the noise bothering your neighbors, the kids might still be asleep (?) and it'd be much cooler than later in the day.
post #44 of 76
According to the Journal of Pediatrics, "There were an estimated 140700 lawn mower–related injuries to children who were 20 years and younger and treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States during the 15-year period of 1990–2004." That is roughly 9,380 a year.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...ull/118/2/e273

Contrast that to injuries involving swimming: "an estimated 2,100 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for pool submersion injuries in 2005 – mostly in residential pools." http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml06/06164.html

That makes lawn mowers statistically about 4 times more dangerous than a swimming pool for a child - and I imagine everyone here takes every precaution to keep their kids safe around pools.
post #45 of 76
We have an electric mower, so there are no fumes and very little noise, and it also shuts off immediately if I let go of the handle. My 18 month old DS plays outside while I mow. He doesn't help me, but he is in the yard. If he comes my way, I shut it off and re-direct him.
post #46 of 76
When my DH is mowing the grass and the kids want to go outside. I wait until the front is mowed before letting them go out. except the older kids. I do let them go out...but my 3 yr old will stay in until the front is mowed and then we will go outside.
post #47 of 76
I didn't let my boys handle a lawn mower until they were about 10yo. DS1 probably could have done it when he was 8yo, but we lived in a house with a yard that was kind of a steep hill, so it was hard for ME to cut that grass. DS2 was always petite and not really big enough to handle a lawn mower until he was 10yo.

We didn't let the kids play in the yard when mowing was going on. I grew up doing 80% of the yard work at my house, and have had rocks and sticks fly back and cut my legs. I always wear long pants and closed-toed shoes when using a mower with an engine. Now we have a tiny yard and a reel mower.

Sure, there's a risk with everything. But if you have that mentality, why take any precautions, ever? I'm of the generation of kids who never wore seatbelts and I'm still alive. I never wore a helmet while skating or riding a bike. I sat in restaurants for hours with chain-smoking adults. Does that mean I continued those trends with my own kids? Nope.

I just think it's unnecessary to place little kids near dangerous machinery.
post #48 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
According to the Journal of Pediatrics, "There were an estimated 140700 lawn mower–related injuries to children who were 20 years and younger and treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States during the 15-year period of 1990–2004." That is roughly 9,380 a year.
20 years and younger? So this could include lots of teens who are doing the mowing themselves. I wonder if there is a better stat that shows younger kids specifically.

This is interesting (from a study called Extremity lawn-mower injuries in children, bolding mine):
Quote:
In a multicenter study of pediatric lawn-mower injuries (push or riding gas-powered machines), we reviewed 144 children at an average age of injury of 7.0 years...The child was the machine operator in 36 cases, a bystander in 84, and a passenger in 21. The average hospital stay was 13.3 days with 2.6 surgeries per child. Amputations occurred in 67 children; 63 were unilateral and four bilateral; the most common level was the toes (63%). Blood transfusions were given to 35 children. Children injured by riding lawn mowers, when compared with those by push lawn mowers, were younger (5.4 vs. 11.0 years), less frequently the operator (15 vs. 60%), had longer hospitalizations (15.0 vs. 8.9 days), and required more surgeries (3.0 vs. 1.6) and blood transfusions (41 vs. 3%). Children with free flaps needed more transfusions (78 vs. 26%), and transfused children were younger (4.6 vs. 8.1 years), more likely to be bystanders (91 vs. 63%), required more surgeries (4.1 vs. 2.0), and were hospitalized longer (21.6 vs. 9.7 days).
post #49 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
According to the Journal of Pediatrics, "There were an estimated 140700 lawn mower–related injuries to children who were 20 years and younger and treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States during the 15-year period of 1990–2004." That is roughly 9,380 a year.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...ull/118/2/e273
But it does also say that 75% of mower accidents happen to older male children and adolescents (median age nearly 11 years old). And, nearly 90% of these injuries are things like burns (touching the hot mower perhaps to add oil or gas), lacerations (spitting out things and hitting bare legs), fractures and soft tissue injury (reaching under the mower to dislodge something or cutting oneself on the non moving blade). A lot of parents allow their kids (esp boys) to mow at those ages, likely wearing no safety protection, whether that be goggles or long pants or closed toed shoes.

Other injuries like amputation seem to occur when parents accidentally back up over their children while on a riding mower or allow kids to play too close. Always a bad idea.

One thing that did throw me for a loop was this: "Ride-on mowers and other power mowers account for 21% and 23%, respectively, of pediatric mower-related injuries"....what about the other huge percent? What kinds of mowers cause those then? Electric or reel? Confused here.
post #50 of 76
I wouldn't do it. It just seems like an unnecessary risk and a major PITA. I really can't imagine mowing the lawn in this heat with my one year old strapped to my back while I tried to give my older child a mowing tutorial just to keep grass clippings from sitting around for less than a week. If I were a single parent without enough money to pay someone to do the job, then maybe, although minus the "help" from the older.

My husband cuts the grass as needed on the weekends. I keep the kids inside with me so they don't get in his way and to avoid the off chance that they get hit by flying debris (a friend of mine was seriously injured by a piece of metal that got kicked out from under the mower). I'm not so much worried about hearing issues since we have a quiet rechargeable mower.

Our yard is small, so it doesn't take much time to do the job, and the kids love to watch their dad and wave at him through the windows. I don't think they're missing out on anything by not being out there. Anyway, if the grass is long and he decides to use the bag (which is rare), he just dumps the clippings in the yard waste bin with everything else and it sits till Friday when the town picks it up (everything gets turned into mulch). I've never noticed the clippings stinking.
post #51 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
I don't think it is paranoid to ask older children to stay inside- honestly, it is not far fetched that a rock could be thrown- a pp said she had a rock thrown thru a window- this is NOT uncommon. It only takes once. It's not about keeping their hands out. It's about teaching safety and staying out of harms reach.
I think this is a nice and interesting discussion but SERIOUS injury to YOUNG children with mowers is not a problem. One can teach safety in many way, just saying no does IMHO not work well at all.

Parents are in general, I'm not picking at you although it may sound like it, terrible at judging what's dangerous for their own children since there is strong emotional bond. What parents fear the most is normally the least dangerous. That's just the way it is.

This is why traffic deaths is the number one cause of death for young children in US. Parents just don't think it's very dangerous. They are too busy worrying about things which may sound dangerous but isn't in reality.

Not allowing a child to be outside when mowing may sound like a good idea but is in reality hundreds of times more dangerous than a child being inside. Each year 25 children die from a falling television set in the home. Other accidents inside the home are also high up on the list for fatalities. Mowing the lawn with young responsible children is nowhere near top of any dangerous list.

Mowing the grass with a very young child may not be good due to noise etc. but that's common sense IMHO
post #52 of 76
adventure dad, maybe you should look at the stats posted above- they are quite high for injuries- even higher than swimming injuries. So, there may not be as many deaths but injury risk ALONE is enough to keep my kids away from an operating lawnmower.


This statement alone does it for me:
" If children younger than 14 years had not been permitted around lawn mowers, approximately 85% of the injuries in this report would have been prevented"

Taken from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9150027
post #53 of 76
I've removed a few posts from this thread. Just a reminder to keep this thread on topic please and to post in a respectful manner. As the Forum Guidelines indicate:

Quote:
We ask that threads focus on safety information gathering, education, advocacy and sharing of personal experience rather than critiques of individuals or venting about others.Insulting, belittling or condemning others is neither productive nor appropriate. While we understand that it can be difficult to watch others make choices that are not in line with your own, the focus of this forum is on "safety." We ask that discussion focus on facts and information rather than venting about others who make different decisions for their families.
The OP is looking for input on the safety of her specific situation, let's stay focused.

Thanks!
post #54 of 76
Wow! I never knew how dangerous this was perceived. Honestly, my DH would say that I am the MOST cautious, paranoid, worrying, safety patrol parent on the planet.....but this just blows my mind! When my kiddos were smaller, I would routinely mow with one baby on my back, one on my front and one playing in the driveway (oldest inside). I always thought I was using common sense with the obvious dangers of not letting the little ones near the blades, and I would stop if they came near me, but I honestly always felt they were out of danger. Never thought about the noise. Hope my kids don't blame me for any possible hearing loss in their future......
ds2 started mowing on a rider around the age of 11 or maybe younger. I'll admit this scared me a bit because he was too light to keep the safety precaution seat weighted down, so DH would put disc weights on the seat to keep the engine on! Crazy, right? Now THAT's questionable parenting...but really?----rocks, sticks, tripping? I worry more about the days I mop my floors and fear the kids my run in and slip and fall!


EDTA ---I'm not big on statistics....I'm pretty sure we mow the grass WAY more often than we go swimming.
post #55 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by THANKFULFORFIVE View Post
Now THAT's questionable parenting...but really?----rocks, sticks, tripping? I worry more about the days I mop my floors and fear the kids my run in and slip and fall!
Have you ever been hit by debris that gets shot out by a mower? I have. It hits hard enough to cut, bruise, and embed itself into your skin. If it hits an adult in the shins or knees, it's possible it could hit a toddler in the face.

Whatever....I would not call someone a bad parent for being outside with their kids while the mower is going. I just think it's an unnecessary risk that I, personally, am not willing to take. If others think it's a bunch of hooey, then so be it. There are things I am okay with that other parents freak out about, like leaving capable children home alone for short times.

Another deterrent, for me, is the exhaust fumes. I have to shower immediately after using a gas mower, because the fumes cling to you and it smells awful. Can't be good for you....no sense in exposing the whole family to it.
post #56 of 76
I don't have a problem with kids being outside while the mower is on, personally. It seems pretty unlikely you'll get hurt. But tripping while mowing with a baby on your back could be awful. It isn't just about falling on the ground. My neighbor tripped and his hand got eaten up by the mower blade. You trip and your dc falls in the path of moving mower blades and your dc gets eaten up by them.
post #57 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2maya View Post
adventure dad, maybe you should look at the stats posted above- they are quite high for injuries- even higher than swimming injuries. So, there may not be as many deaths but injury risk ALONE is enough to keep my kids away from an operating lawnmower.


This statement alone does it for me:
" If children younger than 14 years had not been permitted around lawn mowers, approximately 85% of the injuries in this report would have been prevented"

Taken from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9150027
Are the swimming stats for *all* people 20 years of age and younger? And I betchya a LOT of those 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10 year olds who are injured are the sole operators. As PP said, only 84 of all of those injuries for people under 20 are to bystanders.

300 children under age five *drown* in swimming pools each year. Contrast that to 84 *people* under age 20 who are *injured* by being near a lawn mower. The risk of swimming to little kids CLEARLY is higher than being outside walking behind a lawn mower.
post #58 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
Are the swimming stats for *all* people 20 years of age and younger? And I betchya a LOT of those 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10 year olds who are injured are the sole operators. As PP said, only 84 of all of those injuries for people under 20 are to bystanders.

300 children under age five *drown* in swimming pools each year. Contrast that to 84 *people* under age 20 who are *injured* by being near a lawn mower. The risk of swimming to little kids CLEARLY is higher than being outside walking behind a lawn mower.
The "84 bystanders" is from a different study, one that examined 144 child lawnmower accidents. My point highlighting that was that the majority of injuries were kids that were bystanders, the safety of which is what is being discussed here.

The Amputee Coalition of America states that 600 children a year undergo mower related amputations. Also stated, "For children under age 10, major limb loss is most commonly caused by lawn mowers. "

I'm not sure why we are comparing lawn mower injuries to swimming or traffic injuries. It's not as if a parent has to choose safety in one situation over the other. I extended rear face, supervise my children when swimming, and use an electric mower with a safety switch (after picking up lawn debris) and keep my children what I consider a safe distance away from it.
post #59 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I don't have a problem with kids being outside while the mower is on, personally. It seems pretty unlikely you'll get hurt. But tripping while mowing with a baby on your back could be awful. It isn't just about falling on the ground. My neighbor tripped and his hand got eaten up by the mower blade. You trip and your dc falls in the path of moving mower blades and your dc gets eaten up by them.
This is why automatic shut off is so important.
post #60 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
300 children under age five *drown* in swimming pools each year. Contrast that to 84 *people* under age 20 who are *injured* by being near a lawn mower. The risk of swimming to little kids CLEARLY is higher than being outside walking behind a lawn mower.
That was 84 out of the 144 cases reviewed in that study.

According to this link a PP provided, on average there were 9,400 lawn mower related injuries annually from 1990-2004 involving children under 20. What I found most shocking was how many one, two, and three year olds were injured. It's around the same amount as twelve, thirteen, and fourteen year olds. Here's the chart showing the age distribution.

ETA - sorry to be redundant. was posting while odenata was posting.
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