Lawn Mower Safety

While other parts of the country are shoveling snow, some of us here in southeast Texas are still mowing our lawns. With many youngsters out of school for the holidays, there are some risks you might not think about when it comes to yard work. Houston Public Radio's Alison Young has a story about a pre-teen who's life was changed by an accident with the family's lawnmower.

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When eleven-year-old Taylor Granado was little, she was precocious and independent. Her favorite activity was running around in the backyard of her family's home. But in the blink of an eye, nine years ago this summer, her entire life changed. Today Taylor walks with an awkward limp on two prosthetic legs, a victim of a lawn mower accident. Her mother Kim Granado remembers that day vividly.

Kim Granado says she thought it was a freak accident. But unfortunately serious lawn mower injuries to children remain a common phenomenon in the United States. According to the American Pediatric Society, nearly 10,000 children each year visit emergency rooms due to lawn mower accidents, ones that often cause permanent injuries including limb amputation, eye damage, brain injury, even death.

Rebecca Case is a Physical Therapist at Houston's Shriners Hospital where Taylor Granado was cared for after her accident.

But there has been talk about lawn mower safety most recently. State Representative Jesse Jones from Dallas submitted a resolution to the legislature to draw greater attention to the problem.

Representative Jones says that teaching safety is the key to preventing the type of accident that cost Taylor Granado her limbs.

Children should never be allowed to operate, ride on or play near a lawn mower. Instead, he says, children should be kept at a safe distance when the lawn is being mowed. Kim Granado adds that a lawn mower should never be presented to a child as a play thing.

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