Tags: Children, Agriculture, Agricultural Injury, Safety


June 19, 2024


Scott Heiberger

Melissa Ploeckelman

Grass mowing season brings injuries:
Lawn mower safety campaign asks if your youth are ‘Mow Ready’?

PORTLAND, Ore. -- In an effort to cut both grass and injury rates, the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network (CASN) is launching a national lawn mower safety campaign that asks if youth are ‘Mow Ready’? Despite improvements in engineering and safety features, pediatric lawn mower-related injury rates have remained constant over the past 40 years. Nearly 10,000 child/youth lawn mower injuries occur in the United States annually, including lacerations, burns and eye injuries. Approximately 5 percent of injuries result in amputation.

Mowing grass is a common chore for teenagers, both in the household and for hire. On farms, mowing is often the first job involving machinery that is assigned to young people.

“Injuries associated with mowers can happen in an instant, so it is important to be safety prepared,” said Andrea Swenson, Ph.D., director of the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, which manages CASN.

The Childhood Agricultural Safety Network announced the lawn mower safety campaign at the International Society for Agricultural Safety and Health (ISASH) annual conference taking place this week in Portland, Ore.

CASN has published two sets of campaign fact sheets and posters: one set is for youth, and the other set is for the adults who supervise them. Both sets of materials include illustrations of key safety topics covering supervision, personal protective equipment, appropriate shoes, bystanders and debris in the grass. Campaign materials include resources for traditional (gas/diesel) mowers. Resources on electric mowers will be released later this year.

Previous CASN campaigns have focused on keeping kids off tractors, all-terrain vehicle and utility task vehicle safety, and media guidelines for safe depiction of agricultural practices.

CASN is a coalition of organizations that work together to help keep children safe on the farm. These organizations represent the agricultural community, child injury prevention, minority-serving associations and related industry organizations.

To learn more about the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network, including free membership, participating in the online community and free access and use of all campaign materials, visit https://cultivatesafety.org/casn/.

Lawn mower safety strategies featured in resources on the CASN website include:

  • Children younger than 12 should not operate push-style lawn mowers. It is recommended no one younger than 16 operate a riding mower.
  • Never let a second person ride or jump on a mower while it’s running.
  • Always wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Do not mow in sandals or with bare feet.
  • Before mowing, scan the lawn to remove toys, hoses, tools and large rocks — they could become projectiles.
  • Keep children out of the mowing area.
  • Stay alert to others entering the mowing area.


Mower Poster

Lawn Mower in grass

Childhood Agricultural Safety Network 

Display in Latest News: Yes