In my rural area it is common to let a kid sit on an adult's lap to ride on a mower. My three and a half year old child has just started doing this. It''s in a flat area going slowly, on a recently serviced ride-on lawn mower/lawn tractor. He wears ear protection headphones. He is lifted on and off (not climbing around on it). The mower isn't brand new but new enough to have some auto shut off safety features and the blades are covered. Are there safety issues I'm not thinking of? Thanks
lawn mower rides
It really is not safe. No child should be on a ride on lawn mower or even be outside when a mower is operating.
we let dd ride with dh on the tractor but not when the blades are on. for fun once in a while, i would be inclined to let a lo ride with the BLADES OFF. not with them on, ever. not just for the falling and getting caught in the blades, but things get thrown and slung with great speed, enough to damage eyes or cause potentially fatal head injuries, etc.
Last summer we had a 3 year old girl get brutally killed when her father accidentally dropped her off a lawnmower and she was run over by it. Those 'safety mechanisms' don't mean much. She was torn to pieces.
There is absolutely ZERO reason to put a kid on a lawnmower. It's a tool. It's not a toy. You can put her in a wagon and tote her around for 'fun'.
I generally don't run to the extreme, extreme safety side of life but I know several kids that have been seriously hurt from falls off of riding lawn mower and tractors (diffent type of injuries than a lawn mower) and recently two grown men I know also hurt.
I am in the tool-not-a-toy camp.
My dad is a police officer and they had a call on child riding with dad. Never. They had 3 paramedics quit on the spot because they could not handle the results. Freak accident. When I was told about the story, I wanted to cry for about a week. Absolutely horrible!! One of the worst things my father experienced.
Never, never, never with BLADES ON!
Regularly with blades OFF. My uncle even has a wagon that hooks to the back of his that they ride around in.
I also know a paramedic who went back to nursing school after a call where a grandfather ran over his grandson. Said it was horrifying.
My parents know a man who killed his son many years ago this way.
My dad has a riding mower and is itching to take my three year old on it. It's a resounding NO from me. MAYBE when the blades are off and he's going really slowly, but my son wouldn't differentiate between blades off and blades on, so we simply make a rule that if the mower is going he is indoors. (My dad loves his mower so much that he drives it to my house about once a week to mow our yard- lol over 50 years with a push mower, once he got a riding mower he fell in love. I do understand the desire, but it's just too risky for me to be ok with it. )
My 9 year old is allowed to go out and help, and occasionally will ride in the trailer with the blades off if they are picking up brush, but she knows to stay back when she hears the shift to when the blades are running.
We have taken our kids regularly for years and years. NEVER with the blades on, ever. Now my 12 and 10 yo kids use the mower by themselves, but only for hauling stuff w/our little dump wagon trailer thingy. That's how they haul the barn muck to the compost. If the brakes worked better I'd let them mow w/ear protection, etc. because they are plenty big enough and used to farm-type work. But it doesn't so I won't, and they are only allowed to use it to haul stuff in 2nd gear and know how to stop it just fine. The 4 yo can only ride w/me, Dad, or the 2 older siblings, and again NEVER w/the mower on.
And power tools (esp. saws) must be unplugged (and dragged away from the outlets) even if the user is walking to the bathroom and coming right back. And no littles outside while saws are being used. Bad, bad accident my mom told me about in her town w/a skill saw and a toddler.
For little kids, I absolutely agree. Once they hit double digits, safety glasses and proper attire will allow them to start learning how to do some lawn care (picking up rocks/sticks so the person mowing doesn't have to stop etc). It really depends on the kid though- I always make my kids stay indoors if someone is mowing, other people are ok with them playing nearby while they mow. I've seen too much stuff fly through the air with heavy duty mowers to be comfortable with that though.
I'm ok with my kids being outside when I'm cutting with my reel mower (no engine). I've taught them to not com enear, I can hear them, I can stop really quickly, and it doesn't spit things out at high speed like gas and electric motors. Just an exception. Any type of power motors they are for the most part inside. The exception is my 6 1/2 yo is allowed to ride his bike in the cul-de-sac while my dh mows the front yard - he knows to stay off the grass and how to watch for cars.