Your kid is finally ready to take over the chore of mowing the lawn, and you are ready to help him or her get started. Before you hand over the lawn mower, check out these essential safety tips. They will prepare your kid for his or her first mowing experience:
1. Dress for the job
In order to mow safely, kids should not mow the lawn in a swimming costume and flip-flops or sandals. Rather, they need to be in sturdy close-toed shoes. They should also wear eye protection to protect against flying debris, and they should avoid loose-fitting clothing that may get caught in the lawn mower.
2. Install blade guards
You also need to ensure the lawn mower itself is as safe as possible. Make sure it has a blade guard – that prevents an errant toe from slipping under the lawn mower and getting cut by the blade. Also make sure the debris shield is in place. This part sits near the blade, and it catches loose debris so it doesn't ricochet toward the person mowing the lawn or any bystanders.
Talk with someone at a business like Cox Mowers if you have specific questions about other lawn mower accessories.
3. Prepare for the dangers of slopes
From a safety perspective, it does not matter which way your child mows the lawn. He or she can traverse it in diagonal lines in zig-zig patterns or just up and down. However, there is one exception to this rule – slopes.
If part of your lawn is sloped, you need to give your child special directions on how to handle it safely. Namely, riding lawn mowers should be driven up and down slopes. This direction puts the front of the mower higher or lower than its back, but it keeps the sides level, reducing the risk of tipping over.
With a push mower, the operator needs to push the mower side to side along the hill. The operator will feel slightly slanted as his or her feet won't be on even ground. However, that is safer than pushing the mower up the hill and possibly having it fall back down upon your child.
4. Use a ground fault circuit interrupter
If you have an electric mower, make sure your child knows how to avoid running over the cord, but also make sure you have a ground fault circuit interrupter in place so that your child does not get an electric shock.
5. Have younger siblings watch from indoors
If your child has younger siblings who are excited about watching their brother or sister mow the lawn, have them watch the action from inside. Your young mower does not need the distraction or risk of having to mow around little ones, and anyone watching too closely could get hit by flying debris.