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#1 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I'm just trying to get the lawn mowed. I put my 1 yo on my back in the back pack and I'm watching my 3yo riding his bike and playing, etc. So, my 3 yo gets bored with this and wants to help push the lawnmower.

It's a rear bagger with a "dead man switch," so I have to be holding the mower handle or it won't be working It's newer so it's close to the ground. So the neighbor comes out and reads me the riot act about how unsafe this is. (I think it's none of his business, but that's another story.)

Overall, I don't think having DS walk with me behind the mower is that unsafe. If he tripped, he would fall on the bag. And, all I would have to do is let go and it would turn off. He physically couldn't fall under the mower. (Despite the neighbors predictions.) I think I've looked at this from every angle and I don't think this in and of itself is inherently dangerous.

So, what do you think?

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#2 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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I don't think it's safe to have your 3 yo walk with you, nor to have your 1 yo on your back. You are right, chances are he is safe from the mower blade, but the mower could very easily throw a rock or a stick that could really hurt him, or your 1 yo. Not to mention the damage that is being done to their hearing by being so close to the loud mower. And there is always the freak accident - he falls in front of the mower, runs ahead of you and falls, and the blades cut him somehow.
Mow the lawn on the weekend or at night after your husband at home. If you're a single mom then put your 1 yo down for a nap and put your 3 yo in front of a movie in the house - that is much safer than mowing with them.

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#3 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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Yeah, I make my kids stay inside when mowing is happening. It really isn't a kid-friendly chore.

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#4 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 12:53 AM
 
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We bought a reel (manual) mower for when my DD is out playing when we are mowing. When the gas mower comes out, DD MUST not be in the vicinity.

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#5 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 12:54 AM
 
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DH used to carry DS on his back. Now that DS is larger (2 yrs), he likes to mow w/ his own mower w/ dad, but DH does not allow him anywhere near where he is mowing.

Do your DC wear ear protection? Mowers are VERY loud.

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#6 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Really? I do worry about the noise. But, garbage pick up is Friday, so if DH does it on the weekend the grass sits and stinks for a week before it get picked up.

I'm not at all worried about my 1yo. She is completely on my back, no where near anything dangerous.

I'm surprised people are so worried about this. You can get hurt doing anything, walking down the sidewalk. Mowing the lawn does not seem extremely dangerous. I can't see how he could get hurt by the blades in this circumstances.

But, then I'm not a worrier.

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#7 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 02:36 AM
 
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I am not a worrier, I let my kids do things that many others don't but I also keep my kids away from mowers. 2 summers ago we had a brand new mower, DH ran over some thing tiny, he never even saw it, no idea what it was. He ended up having to have metal surgically removed from his eye, not pleasant. And yet I still catch him every now an then mowing without proper eyewear, men.

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#8 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 03:05 AM
 
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well, you haven't looked at it from *every* angle until you are the lawn mower company on the receiving end of lawsuits brought by parents who let their kids near the mowers and wound up with "freak" accidents that happened due to unforseen circumstances involving X,Y and Z. which is why, if you read the manual and/or the warnings that are usually printed pretty large on the mower itself, you are not supposed to have your children around lawn mowers.

can you get away with doing it anyway? probably yes. is the potential downside worth the risk? up to you. mower injuries can be catastrophic.

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#9 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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I've mowed with a baby on my back before. I don't think it is all that unsafe. I think any rocks or anything would shoot out sidways, and if they went behind you..they would hit *you*..not the baby (assuming the baby was in a soft carrier like an ergo, and not a frame backpack where they are up above your shoulders).

I'm guessing you might want to mow in the evenings when it's cooler, so I could understand not moving during the baby's nap.

I wouldn't let the 3-yo walk behind me though. I would put the 3-yo inside with a movie, in a completely child-proofed room. (of course this assumes your child would happily stay inside and watch a movie (mine would).

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#10 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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I'd do as ameliabedelia... or more likely just skip bagging the lawn clippings (I for one have *NEVER* seen the point in this... we just mow and let them degrade back into the lawn - there gone within a day, two at most!!), and let DH do it on the weekends (or me do it and let DH watch the kids...).
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#11 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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I would wear the baby due to the hearing issue and what if a rock gets thrown and knocks me out? Rare, but possible, and then you are unconscious with a baby strapped to you. With the 3 yo, my concern again, is the mower throwing a rock or stick not so much the blades. And also the hearing thing. Can you set your mower to mulch the grass and not use the bag instead of bagging it and having it sit around? Or compost it?

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#12 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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My minor concern would be noise levels and hearing.

My major concern is a rock or something else being thrown up and hitting them. I have thought I scan the yard well sent an object flying.

Children as young as yours shouldn't be helping. I would enlist your 3 year olds help on "watching" the baby though. Saying you need them to be a big person and watch the baby. If she cries signal you. The praise the heck out of him for doing his job well He is keeping himself and the baby safe.
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#13 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 10:57 AM
 
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No children near lawn mowers, ever! Why do you put grass in a landfill?
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#14 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
I
put your 1 yo down for a nap and put your 3 yo in front of a movie in the house - that is much safer than mowing with them.
I think the probablitity of someone getting hurt is way higher when leaving two very small children alone in the house vs fully supervised near a lawn mower. I know my 3 year old can't be alone for five minutes without causing problems, not to mention you wouldn't be able to hear them from outside while mowing.

The only real concern here is the noise- if that's so much of a worry then maybe do something for that, but I don't think it's that big a deal.

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#15 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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No children near lawn mowers, ever! Why do you put grass in a landfill?
Our garbage collector picks up our grass clippings/various yard waste too, but in a separate truck and they go to be composted.
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#16 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it due mostly to the fact that things DO get thrown, hard, by lawnmowers. I don't let DH wear DS while mowing for that reason. I also don't let DS outside while mowing is happening.

Recently the toddler of someone I know lost a leg to a parent-operated lawnmower. THAT scares me.
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#17 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I have no choice but to have my 3 children outside with me when I mow. I think it's far less safe to have them playing inside unsupervised than outside with me when I mow. Lately the older 2 push the baby (20 months, not hardly a baby) while I do the backyard, and then they just play around the front yard while I mow it. DH works nights, and sleeps in the morning, so there is no safe time for him to be outside mowing (in the summer when it's 100 degrees every day). I'll take my chances--seems more likely for him to get heat stroke during the day mowing than my kid getting hit by a stick or a rock. I usually do not allow them to help me mow, but I have before, and I'd certainly not say anything to anyone I saw doing it. I've mowed with the baby on my back a lot, too. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
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#18 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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It is nothing to do with being a worrier or not being a worrier. Near a gas powered lawnmower is NOT a place for a small child. IMO it is negligent to permit your child near one that is operating. You cannot predict when something is going to come flying out and at what angle.

Also, I'm not sure why you aren't mulching your clippings rather than bagging them, but it would solve whatever smell issue you are having.

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#19 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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I must agree with pp that it's really not safe.

One of the deciding factors to us purchasing a reel mower last year was ds. I couldn't very well leave him in the house but the risks of the gas mower were too high to have him close. Besides the possibiliy of things being thrown, the noise is quite loud (one of the things I most dislike about living in town is that in the summer there is ALWAYS a mower running somewhere) & the exhaust off of it can't be good. Funny I never noticed the exhaust until I switched to the reel mower & then mowed with a gas mower at my Mom's & felt so sick afterwards from it.

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#20 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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My sister works in orthopedic surgery, and the most common cause they see for limb reattachments for children is lawn mower accidents. I'm sure every single one of those parents assumed they were involving their kids in a safe way, too.

I concur with the previous posters who said to wait til your husband is home and stop bagging the clippings. It is much better for your lawn, anyway, and you'll need less fertilizer. Bonus!
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#21 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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I'm surprised people are so worried about this. You can get hurt doing anything, walking down the sidewalk. Mowing the lawn does not seem extremely dangerous. I can't see how he could get hurt by the blades in this circumstances.

But, then I'm not a worrier.
So, if you've already made up your mind, why ask?

My husband works in another state 4-5 days a week, every week. I mow when he's home on the weekend and can watch the kids. Yes, it sucks to give up part of our precious family time, but I'm not willing to risk my kids' hearing and safety. They stay inside while I mow. We have a 1.5 acre yard and I'm on a riding mower so its really unsafe. When we lived in the suburbs and had a push mower and a small yard, they still stayed inside. I wear the big muffling ear covers to protect my hearing, I certainly wouldn't expose my children to it.

This article reports that 16,000 children a year are harmed by lawn mower accidents. I'm sure that every single parent felt the same way you do, that there was no way their child could possibly get hurt. A child lost their foot in our community riding on a lawn mower with her grandfather a couple years ago. I know that grandfather must have felt confident the child was safe - he'd been mowing for over 50 years, probably.

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#22 of 76 Old 07-22-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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Yeah, I make my kids stay inside when mowing is happening. It really isn't a kid-friendly chore.
I agree. Sometimes you can kick up a small stone or twig with the blades and they come at you with surprising speed. Do not allow your small kids anywhere near the mower. I feel they are a hazard even off. My dad once had the mower flipped over for a repair.. my sis got too close and tripped, cut herself on the blade.
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#23 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No children near lawn mowers, ever! Why do you put grass in a landfill?
We bag into special bags that the city composts.

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So, if you've already made up your mind, why ask? .

Well, I certainly came in with an opinion obviously, but mostly I'm just surprised by the strong reaction. It certainly makes me think about my previous opinion.

My daughter on my back doesn't worry me too much. In order for her to get hurt an item would have to impale me, go through to hit her. I'll just keep my son playing in the backyard or riding his bike like he usually does anyways. If he gets upset about wanting to help, I can always stop, get him distracted by something else and come back later.

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#24 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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But, garbage pick up is Friday, so if DH does it on the weekend the grass sits and stinks for a week before it get picked up.
have dh cut the grass on saturday and then put a curb alert on craigslist and people who compost will come pick it up.

problem solved

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#25 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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we compost our own grass. My dh does the grass, and kids are not allowed around him while he is cutting. He wears ear protection and eye protection. We are not super worriers either, but this is basic safety precautions, just like wearing eye protection while using power tools.
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#26 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 04:41 AM
 
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My daughter on my back doesn't worry me too much. In order for her to get hurt an item would have to impale me, go through to hit her. I'll just keep my son playing in the backyard or riding his bike like he usually does anyways. If he gets upset about wanting to help, I can always stop, get him distracted by something else and come back later.
See, this would worry me. What if you got hit with something hard enough to knock you down. You could end up landing on top of the child on your back (if you fall backwards). And if you're really quite injured, you may be unable to get off of her (and your 3yo is definitely too young to help move you around so you don't smother the younger one).

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#27 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 04:50 AM
 
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Aren't you at all concerned about the noise level and fumes for the baby on your back?

My dd is 7 and I still ask her to stay inside when I mow. Having once shot a small rock through a window while mowing -- and imagining the horror if DD's eyes had been between the mower and the window! -- makes it a non-choice for me. Label me a worrier if you want, but young kids and power tools are a bad mix.

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#28 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 06:51 AM
 
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I think it's great to involve the kids in all kinds of activities but I would be a bit careful. I used to be all over the place with my Baby Björn and the kids during my years on paternity leave but not even I mowed the lawn with them:-)

My kids, 4 and 6.5 do help out with mowing the lawn but wear ear protectors , glasses,and we also have a mower which basically makes it impossible for anything to be thrown.

IMHO, asking older children to stay inside when moving is paranoid unless of course they are very irresponsible and can't keep their hands away. THat would b more of a parenting issue though. If it's a crappy mower which can spread things all over the place things are different.

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#29 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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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.
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#30 of 76 Old 07-23-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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My kids are always outside with me when I mow, at least if I'm mowing while home without DH. If DH isn't home, I mow when the baby is down for a nap, but I would NEVER leave my kids in the house unattended without me. Too many things could happen.

We have a mower that doesn't throw a single thing - no rocks, no sticks, no nothing. Nothing EVER shoots out of it, so I'm okay with using it around the kids.

That said, the kids are never near me while I mow anyway. They play in the side yard and know they aren't to come past the front of the house while I am mowing the front.

As for wearing the baby in a sling, if I had ear protection for the kiddo I would do it, but the only thing stopping me is the judgments of other people, so I don't.

As for getting heatstroke or something random while walking with a baby on your back, that can be said for walking anywhere outside with a baby on your back. What if you get heatstroke at the walking track and fall on your kid? But that tiny chance of that ever happening doesn't stop most moms I know.

As for lawn mower injuries and amputations, I'd love to see some stats - I am suspicious that most happen with riding mowers, and I would NEVER use one of those around kids. Ever.
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