May 22, 2019

Common lawn mower injuries


Lawn mowers are powerful machines that can cause very serious injuries, often requiring a visit to the emergency room. According to Nationwide Children’s, each year more than 8,490 children younger than 18 are treated for lawn mower-related injuries.

It’s important to know what to do in case an accident occurs. Learn more about the different types of lawn mower injuries and lawn mower safety.

If an accident occurs, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room. OrthoIndy trauma physicians are located at St. Vincent Indianapolis Level I Trauma Center.

Types of lawn mower injuries

1. Cuts

Most commonly lawn mowers cut hands and feet because those body parts can easily get past blade protectors. The sharp blades on a mower can injure, cut the skin or even go deeper into the muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones.

2. Burns

Burns from the lawn mower can happen anywhere on the body from the hot engine, gas tank or the exhaust. It can damage the skin, muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones.

3. Broken bones

Open fractures are common with lawn mower injuries due to the sharp rotating blade. Open fractures happen when the bone breaks the skin and are more serious because they can cause damage to the surrounding muscle tendons and ligaments and lead to a longer recovery time. Also, infection is more likely to occur due to the open wound.

4. Amputations

In extreme lawnmower accidents, loss of a body part might be a possibility. If an amputation occurs, the body part should be brought to the hospital as well. Depending on the incident, the body part may be reattached. If possible wrap the amputated body part in a damp bandage. Then, seal it in a plastic bag and put the plastic bag in a container with water and ice.

Doctor examination in the emergency room

The trauma physician will conduct an examination to assess soft tissue, nerve and blood vessel damage and look for other injuries. Antibiotics may be given to help fight an infection and a tetanus shot may be required. X-rays may be taken if the physician thinks any bones may be broken.


Depending on the severity of the injury, the patient may go home the same day or be at the hospital for days, weeks or months. Surgeries may be required depending on the type of injury. In all cases, patients will need to be seen by a doctor.


The healing process is different depending on the type and severity of the injury. Physical therapy, prosthesis, assistive devices and regular check-ups are all things a patient may experience if a lawn mower accident occurs.

Some injuries may make patients’ daily lives very difficult. Seeing an occupational therapist can help guide the patient and teach them how to do daily activities in new ways to make things easier for them.

Lawn mower safety and accident prevention

Here are a few ways to help avoid lawn mower accidents:

  • Wear eye and hearing protection
  • Remove debris from your lawn
  • NEVER allow children to be passengers on riding mowers
  • Make sure the person running the lawnmower is the appropriate age
  • Do not allow children to be playing on the lawn while the grass is being mowed
  • Use mowers that have protection over the hot and sharp parts
  • Always be aware and double check your surroundings before reversing or operating the lawn mower

Learn more about trauma care at OrthoIndy.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000

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