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Outdoor chores are a great assignment for children of all ages. By keeping safety in mind, your whole family can work together.

Stay Safe with These 10 Outdoor Cleanup Rules

Whenever outdoor power tools are being used, follow these rules to prevent injury:

  1. Wear protective eyewear with side shields to protect eyes from objects thrown by a lawn mower.
  2. Slip-resistant, closed-toed shoes should be worn to protect feet. Never mow barefooted or with sandals.
  3. Pick up any loose objects before you begin. Rocks, toys and sticks should all be cleared.
  4. Don't mow when there is not full daylight – you may not see hazards.
  5. Children should stay at least 20 ft. away from power tools in use.
  6. Do not mow if grass is wet, or there is a storm.
  7. Avoid backing up when you mow. Always look out for objects or people in your path.
  8. Put fuel in your mower outdoors – not in a closed space.
  9. Do not clear grass from the blades until the mower is completely stopped.
  10. Teach your child how to properly operate the mower and use all the safety features.

Lawn Cleanup

Even preschoolers can help gather debris and place it in a pile for cleanup. Just be sure there are no sharp objects, tripping hazards such as exposed tree roots, steep or slick areas. Make it a contest of "mom's team vs. dad's team" to see who picks up the most debris. Winner gets to pick dessert!

Lawn Mowing

We are often asked at what age a child can safely mow the lawn. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should be at least:

  • 12 years of age to operate a walk-behind power mower
  • 16 years of age to operate a riding lawn mower

Keeping an eye on safety, your whole family can join in taking care of the outdoors!

Karen K. Meyer, MD

Methodist Physicians Clinic HealthWest

Dr. Meyer answers your questions about child development and parenting. Dr. Meyer decided to become a doctor when she was in school and learned about the body's systems and the miracle of how they all work together. She likes talking to children and helping them feel better. Dr. Meyer believes that children are not little adults and they need to be treated in a way that will help them understand why they aren't feeling well and what they can do to get better. She also works to build tru ...

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