The season of “falling leaves” has given autumn its popular moniker as the fall season. But for doctors like Josyann Abisaab MD who staff emergency rooms around the country, “fall” has taken on a whole new meaning. Forty-two million Americans seek emergency room treatment each year upon falling.
Many of these injuries occur during the performance of ordinary household tasks, such as outdoor yard maintenance. Leaf raking, lawn mowing, and roof inspections all have their potential dangers, including major falls, painful cuts and back injuries. Lawn mowers, in particular, must be viewed as the large, potentially harm-causing machines that they really are. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that more than 225,000 people were injured by power, manual and riding lawn mowers in 2007.
The good news, however, is that these dangers can be easily avoided by adhering to these few simple tips:
— Turn your engine off before you begin any maintenance work on your lawn mower.
— Don’t use your hands or feet to clear debris from under a lawn mower. Use a stick or broom handle instead.
— Don’t remove safety devices, shields or guards on switches.
— Never leave a lawn mower running unattended.
— Wear protective gear like goggles and gloves, boots and long pants when mowing.