Doctors offer tips to prevent lawn mower injuries

      Protecting children from lawn mower injuries is simple if families follow a few guidelines.

      The suburban Chicago-based American Academy of Pediatrics, along with groups representing orthopedic and plastic surgeons, offers these safety tips.

      -Children should be 12 or older before operating a lawn mower. They should be at least 16 for a riding mower.

      -Children should never be passengers on riding mowers.

      -Wear sturdy shoes while mowing, not sandals.

      -Make sure young children are a safe distance away from the area being mowed.

      -Pick up stones, toys and debris before mowing to prevent injuries from flying objects.

      -Always wear eye and hearing protection.

      -Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless really necessary. Look behind you if you do.