MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Time and again, Dr. Edwin Harris, a Loyola University Health System pediatric podiatrist, has treated children who have lost toes or the front parts of their feet in lawn mower accidents.
-- A boy, riding on an adult's lap, falls off a riding mower and gets his foot caught in the blade.
-- A toddler suddenly runs in front of a moving lawnmower.
-- A boy jumps off a swing into the path of a lawn mower.
"These accidents are devastating but totally preventable," Harris said. "Kids should never be around a running lawn mower. And children under the age of 16 should not be allowed to operate either a riding lawn mower or walk-behind mower."
In 2007, nearly 210,000 people, including 16,200 children, were injured in lawn mower accidents, according to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Harris urges operators of riding mowers and push mowers to follow these safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
-- Keep children out of the mowing area and under the supervision of another adult who isn't mowing the lawn.
-- If a child enters the area, turn off the mower.
-- Before and while backing, look behind and down for small children.
-- Never carry children on riding mowers, even with the blade shut off.
-- Never allow children to operate the machine.
-- Be extremely careful when approaching blind corners, shrubs, trees, etc., that could block your view of a child.
-- Wear sturdy shoes with sure-grip soles to avoid slipping.
"As we head into the peak of the lawn mowing season, I'm hoping operators of lawn mowers will follow these common-sense precautions," Harris said.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 569-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.