Summer brings warm nights, beach vacations, shorts and sandals—and of course, yard work. Although many people find gardening and lawn care relaxing, there’s no denying the dangers of electric weed whips, hedge-trimmers, and rotary-blade lawnmowers.
Lawnmowers are particularly dangerous, causing numerous cuts, burns, broken bones, infections, and even foot amputations every year.
Lawnmowers and Yard Tools Are a Real Danger to Your Feet
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 70,000 people are treated annually in emergency rooms for lawnmower injuries. The most common injuries involve the feet and hands, with the most severe accidents involving running over a person’s foot with the mower.
People are more likely to suffer foot injuries while mowing the lawn due to:
- Lack of protective footwear. People who wear flip flops or go barefoot while mowing the lawn have no protection if the mower runs over their foot. You should always wear heavy shoes or work boots when performing yard work.
- Improper use. Bending over the mower while it is running, pulling a running mower backward, or attempting to mow on uphill or on uneven terrain all increase the risk of injury.
- Children at play. Children may dart into the path of the mower, or come up behind the person mowing who cannot hear them. Ideally, children should play indoors while the lawn is being mown, but if they must be in the yard they should remain far from the mower at all times.
- Yard hazards. Wet lawns are much more difficult to cut, and people may lose control of the mower by slipping on rain-soaked grass. In addition, running over fallen branches and sticks can cause flying debris and puncture injuries.
- Riding mower accidents. Children can be severely injured or even killed when getting on or off the machine, and should never be allowed to ride on an adult’s lap when mowing. Adults should be aware of the risks of riding mowers, and mow across slopes rather than up or down an incline.
If you are struggling with a foot injury, the foot and ankle specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry are here to help. We offer free initial consultations and create a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your first visit.