Lawnmower injuries in children: a 10-year experience

Stanley T Lau, Yi-Horng Lee, Donavon J Hess, Guy F Brisseau, Graidi E Keleher, Michael G Caty
Pediatric Surgery International 2006, 22 (3): 209-14
Approximately 77,800 annual lawnmower-related injuries are treated in the USA, with 9,300 involving children. This work reviews the literature and reports our 10-year experience with lawnmower injuries. We retrospectively reviewed patients with lawnmower injuries admitted to the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo from 1995 to 2005 and reviewed the literature. Sixteen patients with mower-related injuries were admitted to our institution, with three due to walk-behind mowers and 13 due to riding mowers. The mean age was 7.5 years. Riding mower injuries had a higher average injury severity score (14.3 vs. 9) and a longer average length of hospital stay (15 vs. 2 days). All of the walk-behind mower injuries were extremity injuries, with two requiring amputations. Eleven of the riding mower injuries had extremity injuries alone, one had isolated torso injuries, and one had both extremity and torso injuries. Three required amputations, and the two patients with torso injuries required extensive surgical reconstructions. Pediatric lawnmower injuries, particularly due to riding mowers, are a highly preventable cause of morbidity and mortality. Increased public safety awareness and further manufacturer safety modifications should be strongly encouraged in order to limit this cause of pediatric trauma.

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