Public Health News Roundup: June 14
Pediatricians are watchful for signs of self-injury, such as cutting skin on arms and legs, among adolescents, but a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds that children as young as seven may engage in self injury as well. The study also found that ninth-grade girls were three times more likely to self-injure than ninth-grade boys, and girls were more likely to cut their skin, while boys were more likely to hit themselves. Read more on children's health.
Just over 250,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries in 2010 and nearly 17,000 of them were children under age 19, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Lawn mower-related injuries are up 3 percent since 2009.
The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics are issuing guidelines on lawn mower safety.
- Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
- Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower, and age 16 to operate a driving lawn mower.
- Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
- Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins.
- Have anyone who uses a mower or is in the vicinity wear protective eyewear at all times.
- Don’t pull a mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
- Don’t allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers and keep children out of the yard while mowing.
- Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.
- Keep lawn mowers in good working order. When using a lawn mower for the first time in a season, have it serviced to ensure that it is working correctly.
Read more on injury prevention.