Lawn mower safety tips

Safety around lawn mowers

  • Never ride with a child on a lawn mower, even if the blades are off
  • Never allow a child to play outside while a lawn mower is in use
  • Never mow in reverse

When can my child start mowing the lawn?

  • Children and teens must be both strong and mature enough to operate mowers
  • Children at least 12 years old can operate a push mower
  • Teens at least 16 years can operate a riding lawn mower
  • Ensure your child understands how the mower operates, and thoroughly reads its operation manual before ever starting the machine
  • Teach your child how to stop the lawn mower engine quickly in the event of an emergency
  • An adult should supervise teens before they are allowed to operate a lawn mower on their own

Lawn mower safety tips

  • Wear sturdy, closed toe shoes and long pants while mowing
  • Wear protective eyewear and hearing protection while mowing
  • Pick up objects – such as sticks, stones, and toys – from the lawn before mowing. These objects can become dangerous projectiles if a mower runs over them
  • Fill your gasoline tank only when the engine is cold
  • Do not pull the mower backwards or mow in reverse
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, inspecting or repairing lawn mower equipment, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas
  • Drive up and down – not across – slopes or hills to prevent mower rollovers
  • Decrease your speed when going down slopes or around sharp corners. Maintain a minimum ground speed and make turns wide and gradual
  • Never leave a mower unattended while it is running
  • Mow only when the grass is dry and during the daylight
  • Important lawn mower equipment safety features

  • Only use push mowers with a control that stops the mower blade from moving when the handle is let go
  • Check to make sure that the mower's operator-presence control system – a safety feature that shuts off the blades when the operator dismounts the machine or rises from the seat – is functioning properly
  • Keep your mower in good working order by having it serviced before each new mowing season