June 30, 2017
1 min read

Lawn mower-related injuries declined nearly 60% among children

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Despite declining rates of pediatric lawn mower-related injuries across the United States, prevalence is still high, with 11.9 annual injuries for every 100,000 children, according to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

Gary A. Smith
Gary A. Smith

“Initial treatment of pediatric lawn mower-related injuries costs about $90 million annually,” Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH, from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at The Research Institute of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and colleagues wrote. “The long-term physical, psychological and financial effects of these traumatic injuries can be devastating for those injured and their families.”

To examine the epidemiology of injuries sustained to American children from lawn mowers, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of emergency room treatments administered between 1990 and 2014 for children younger than 18 years of age. Data were gathered through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.

From the data collected, 212,258 children younger than age of 18 years who received treatment for injuries related to lawn mowers were noted. The researchers observed a substantial decrease in injuries between 1990 and 2014 (59.9%).

The most commonly sustained injury requiring treatment was laceration (38.5%), with injuries mostly sustained to the fingers or hand, or both (30.7%). Being struck by lawn mowers (21.2%), cut by lawn mowers (19.9%) and coming into contact with hot surfaces (14.1%) were the most frequently reported ways in which children were injured. The latter mechanism of injury was most observed in children younger than 5 years of age. Nearly 50% of all injuries to bystanders involved a projectile, and passengers and bystanders were admitted to the hospital more frequently than drivers.

“While we are happy to see that the number of lawn mower-related injuries has declined over the years, it is important for families to realize that these injuries still occur frequently during warm weather months,” Smith said in a press release. “Improvements in lawn mower design during the last few decades are likely an important contributing factor in the decrease in injuries. We would like to see manufacturers continue to improve design and include additional needed safety features on all mowers.” — by Katherine Bortz

Disclosure: The researchers provide no relevant financial disclosures.