In the seven years to 2013 and average of 7 307 Americans were injured while mowing their lawns, with nearly 2 000 of them losing a body part in the process.
That’s according to a study published in the US journal Public Health Reports, using data gathered from a federal government database of emergency room visits.
Most of the damage was to the hands and feet, the study found. Almost half involved lacerations, and about 22% resulted in an amputation.
Eye and face injuries accounted for 1% of emergency room visits (these are only lawnmower-related incidents, not those involving chainsaws and brushcutters), and fractures for 22,4%. Nearly 30 people a year suffered burns from lawn mowers serious enough to be treated in an ER.
About 85% of the injured went home after being treated, while the rest stayed in the hospital or went to another facility ~ a nursing home for rehabilitation, for example, or a short-term hospital.
Children under the age of four were more likely than older people to injure their feet and to suffer an amputation. Based on their own experiences, the authors suggested that these injuries occur when a child approaches a family member who is mowing the lawn, or when the child falls off the lap of a person driving a riding mower.
One of the common injuries occurs when older children (and adults sometimes) stick their hands into a mower, despite the whirring blades, to clear debris.