July is peak season for lawn care injuries
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis. – Each year thousands of individuals are injured while mowing the lawn. These injuries can be everything from a first-degree burn to a tragic amputation or even death. HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals urge community members to use caution while mowing.
“Prevention of these injuries is key,” says Regi Geisler, trauma coordinator for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “The most common injuries could be prevented by just slowing down and using common sense.”
- Read your mower's instruction manual prior to use.
- Keep your mower in good working order.
- Pick up potential flying objects such as stones, toys and debris before you start mowing.
- Wear goggles, hearing protection, gloves, long pants and closed-toe shoes.
- Do not drink alcohol or use other substances before or while using your lawn mower.
- Do not remove safety devices or guards on switches.
- Never insert hands or feet into the mower to remove grass or debris.
- Never lift a mower by the bottom for transport; the blades can cut fingers even if they are not moving.
- Never cut grass when it is wet or damp.
- Never allow children under age 12 to operate a push mower or those under 16 to drive a riding mower. Keep children off the lawn while mowing, and never have a passenger on your riding mower.
- Do not pull a mower backward or ride it in reverse unless necessary.
Some of the most common lawn care injuries include:
- Cuts: Cuts can occur anywhere on the body but most often occur on the hands and feet from the sharp blades. Small wounds or cuts can harbor unsafe bacteria. Infections are common, and antibiotic medicines usually are necessary.
- Burns: The hot engine, gas tank or exhaust of a lawn mower can cause severe burns.
- Missile Injuries: A variety of injuries may be caused by items such as rocks, sticks or other loose objects in the lawn being thrown from the spinning blades.
- Fractures: The rotating blades of a mower can cause broken bones.
- Amputations: The sharp blades of a mower can amputate part of an arm, leg, hand or foot. Plus, burns, cuts and fractures can be so severe that the injured part of the body requires amputation to prevent infection and further complications.
If you experience a lawn mowing injury, it’s important to seek emergency help immediately. The emergency rooms at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 900 W. Clairemont, Eau Claire and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, 2661 County Hwy I, Chippewa Falls are open 24/7 to provide care when its needed.
For more lawn care safety tips visit Healthychildren.org.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.