“We see a sharp increase in these injuries during the summer months,” said trauma surgeon Daniel Bonville, D.O., F.A.C.S. “It’s important for people to be aware of the hazards associated with lawn mowers and ATVs, and take precautions, especially where children are concerned.”
Dr. Bonville offers these reminders to residents of our region:
• Anyone operating a lawn mower needs to wear closed-toe shoes (not flip-flops), long pants and eye protection. Ear buds that channel loud music should not be worn.
• Never disable lawn mower safety devices, such as the safety shut-off lever.
• Small children should never be outside when the only supervising adult is operating a lawn mower.
• Children should never ride as passengers on riding mowers.
• No child under the age of 12 should operate a walk-behind lawn mower, and children younger than 16 years old should not operate a riding mower.
• Any minor operating a lawn mower should be given full instructions prior to use, including a demonstration of the degree at which the mower can safely be turned, where the safety shut-off lever is located, as well as a strict warning that choked mower blades should never be cleared with one’s hands.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
• Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet, eye protection, boots with ankle support, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt or jacket as conditions warrant.
• No one under the age of 16 should ride or operate a motorized ATV.
• Single-seat vehicles should never be used to carry multiple riders, especially young children.
• No one should be towed behind these vehicles.
• Never operate an ATV on pavement. They are not designed for use on paved surfaces and may be difficult to control.
• Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
• Be especially cautious when approaching hills, turns, and obstacles and when operating on unfamiliar or rough terrain. Keep at least 10 feet between your ATV and another vehicle.
• Driving an ATV under the influence of alcohol is just as dangerous as driving a car under the influence.
“Being aware of the risks associated with lawn mowers and ATVs and then taking simple safety precautions will help make the summer safe and happy for everyone,” Dr. Bonville said.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other health care professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 450 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu .
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Extension: (518) 262 – 3421