Lawn mowing question. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 05-05-2014, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our son turns 4 this summer. My husband was mowing the lawn (gas powered push mower) this evening when I needed to go and leave our son with him. He had our son walk next to him as he was mowing, on the side where the grass was NOT being blown out. 

How does CPS, or other government agencies, view this? We have snoopy neighbors that report almost anything and its scary but we also have a life to live. It didn't seem worth it to take our son up to my sister's (about a mile away) so that he doesn't need  to be with his daddy for the 30ish min. needed for my husband to finish. Is this better, or worse, than a child riding along on a riding mower? I work almost every evening, and evening is often when it suits my husband to mow.

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#2 of 16 Old 05-08-2014, 12:39 AM
 
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Not safe and I wouldn't do it.  This thread was still on the first page of this forum and discusses this:  http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1399109/lawn-mowing-with-little-ones-in-the-yard

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#3 of 16 Old 05-17-2014, 08:03 PM
 
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My yard takes about 45min. to mow. I would put my dd2 in a pack n pay or exersaucer when she was little
By 4 I could leave her in front of the tv

I would be very concerned about rocks and stuff being kicked up from the mower with anyone near me, either side

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#4 of 16 Old 05-18-2014, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We don't have a TV; a video from Youtube may or may not work, and I'm not sure if my husband would notice if it isn't while he's mowing. It would scare me even worse to have Billy try to go out to Mike while he's mowing and Mike not being aware; this way, Mike did know Billy's out there and exactly where. I hope it doesn't happen too often. When I'm home, I keep Billy occupied indoors while Mike is mowing, of course.

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#5 of 16 Old 05-18-2014, 11:35 AM
 
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Honestly the safest thing for you would be to have your husband only now the lawn when someone elseia there to watch your son. It's not worth the risk to your son & I cannot imagine your husband could devote full attention to him while also concentrating on mowing the lawn & if god forbid something actually happened to your son he would never forgive himself. Not worth the risk.
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#6 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice! Maybe the grass will just have to get tall those weeks when I can't be home when it suits Mike to mow...Soon, also, the weather will get hot and it won't grow as fast.

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#7 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 05:46 AM
 
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You could also look into other mowing options, such as an old-fashioned push mower (yes, you can still buy them).

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#8 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 06:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mrstovar View Post

Thanks for the advice! Maybe the grass will just have to get tall those weeks when I can't be home when it suits Mike to mow...Soon, also, the weather will get hot and it won't grow as fast.
Your grass grows slower in the summer? I'm in NC, and ours grows much faster in the summer.
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#9 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 08:09 AM
 
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Thanks for the advice! Maybe the grass will just have to get tall those weeks when I can't be home when it suits Mike to mow...Soon, also, the weather will get hot and it won't grow as fast.

It's only 30 minutes once a week (per your post) - while it might not be his preference maybe mowing in the morning or afternoon when you are available would be a better option.
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#10 of 16 Old 05-19-2014, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it takes my husband quite a long while to mow the lawn, 30ish minutes was all that was left to do that evening.

 

We live in central PA. Our grass grows fast and thick early in the season, then in the middle of summer it's often dry and hot and doesn't grow much.

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#11 of 16 Old 05-20-2014, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post
 

You could also look into other mowing options, such as an old-fashioned push mower (yes, you can still buy them).

Yup, we have one of those I use sometimes to mow while the kids are out playing.  And my 9yo can safely mow with it too!

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#12 of 16 Old 04-18-2015, 10:17 AM
 
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Have you considered getting an electric mower? They don't emit the fumes that other mowers use and they are much cheaper to maintain.
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#13 of 16 Old 07-13-2015, 08:12 AM
 
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I think it's reasonable for your son to play outside in the yard while your husband mows, but he should be in a safe zone that is always away from the mower and especially from where the grass is blowing out. When my husband or I mowed we instructed the kids to move so they were away from that side. We could usually find a way that there was a fence or wall between them and the mower while they were still mostly within sight.

Could you set your son up with some toys on a deck or porch or some kind of defined area where he could clearly understand the boundaries of where he was allowed to go?

I think it's a little too hyper cautious to say that a 4-yr-old can't be outside at all while dad is mowing but, yes, rocks and sticks can be thrown great distances and with great force so precautions need to be taken. If you have a plan in place then you should have no worries about reporting neighbors.

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#14 of 16 Old 07-22-2015, 11:52 PM
 
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I don't understand nosy neighbors.


I don't think your husband would ever put your son in harms way. Back in the day it was normal for dads to involve their sons in what they were doing. There were far more dangerous toys for kids to play (lawn darts, anyone?). Although, parents and society are more cautious now than ever before, there is a movement of parents wanting to bring some risk back into kids lives so kids can learn how to be safe. It's not like your son was made to mow the grass himself. Yeah, there are some projectiles, even with a manual mower. But, come on. Are your neighbors going to call CPS every time your child falls off his bike? Jumps on a trampoline? Ideally, it would have been better if your husband stopped mowing the grass. But I'm guessing your husband wanted to take it as an opportunity to have your son learn how to do a household task and get used to loud machines. A push mower is better than a ride along and having your son by his side is better than your son running free, where your husband may not always see or hear where he is, resulting in him running off of or into the lawn mower. If your son was inside, who knows what he could get into and it only takes a moment, even at that age. Again, your husband wouldn't been able to hear or see your son.
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#15 of 16 Old 07-25-2015, 11:41 AM
 
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When I was growing up, my family knew two people seriously injured by lawnmowers. One was a dad who turned away a moment to speak to his daughter and inadvertently rolled the mower over his foot. His daughter was my age and that was really rough for her. The other was a flying projectile injury.

We always regarded the mower as one of the most dangerous things we owned. My father mowed in steel-toed boots and my sister and I had to stay well-away. I don't live somewhere I need to mow, otherwise I'd treat it the same way. I don't think it's the same as the hyper-protective helicoptering that may be doing its own damage. Lawnmowers do chuck out little bits of stuff all the time, and they are always one side spinning blade. When my kids were 4, I definitely didn't have them always in my sight, but that was in low-risk places. I just wouldn't do this. I think there are several safer options than having him near the mower. Take a break from the lawn, sit the kid inside with a video (mine don't watch very many so that guarantees they won't move), if he'll cooperate tell him to stay in a space like Daisy suggested.

Last edited by Letitia; 07-26-2015 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity.
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#16 of 16 Old 07-26-2015, 05:20 AM
 
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I believe the mowers safety info says kids should be 30ft away. Sit him on the porch with a toy, chalk, or a video game and let him play within sight.
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