Lawn Mowers: Read this safety guide to avoid a tetanus

Every year, emergency room doctors treat 84,000 people for lawn mower accidents. To avoid a visit to the ER, follow these tips and prevent mower accidents.

Here are seven mower-safety tips from Underwriters Laboratories, a not-for-profit product safety testing company.

1. Read your lawn mower’s owner’s manual and know how to stop the machine instantly in an emergency.

2. Always start the mower outdoors. Don’t run the mower where carbon monoxide can collect, such as in a closed garage, storage shed, or basement.

3. Don’t operate an electrically powered mower on wet grass.

4. Keep your hands and feet away from the mower’s blades. Never reach under the mower while it’s running—make all adjustments with the motor off.

5. Don’t leave a running lawn mower unattended.

6. Make sure your shoes provide good traction and have sturdy soles to resist punctures and protect toes. Never work barefoot, in sandals, or in canvas shoes.

7. Mowers can fling rocks at up to 200 miles per hour. Keep other adults, children, and pets clear, and wear long pants to protect your legs.

Wear Gloves
Wear Gloves

Wear gloves to avoid cuts

More than 50 percent of tetanus injuries occur in the yard, garden, or other outdoor locations, yet most gardeners don’t realise how often they are exposed—or know if they are protected against this disease. Learn how to protect yourself against tetanus one such thing is wearing gloves.

Tetanus bacteria are often found in places that gardeners might not suspect. Potting soil, dirt, and manure are all prime locations for bacteria. While you cannot get tetanus by being exposed to an infected person, you can contract the disease through common outdoor injuries, including scratches, insect bites, splinters, and even animal bites. Tetanus is rare in the United States, but it’s hard to diagnose and treat, and it can be fatal.

A childhood vaccine shot for tetanus and diphtheria is not lifelong. You need a tetanus booster every 10 years, starting at age 11. A current vaccination will protect you from tetanus and diphtheria and give you peace of mind in the garden.

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