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.