One of the best things about summer is being outside, and some people even love doing yard work… but when you’re more active and using motorized tools, your risk for hand injuries increases. As an orthopedic surgeon at Arnot Health, I see an increased number of patients with hand and finger ailments in the summer.
One of the most common causes of wounds and hand injuries is the lawn mower. About 250,000 people each year are treated throughout the country when they slip or make a mistake while cutting the lawn. And even with built-in safety features, riding lawn mowers are more dangerous than push mowers.
Below are some injury-prevention tips while cutting the lawn this summer:
- Cover and protect hot spots, like the muffler and engine
- Look for riding mowers that have a reverse lever behind the driver’s seat; this will prevent users from backing up without looking
- Follow minimum age requirements for operating heavy machinery
- Do not allow passengers on riding mowers
- Do not wear sandals or bare feet while cutting the lawn
But lawn-mowing incidents are not the only summertime injuries I see. Animal bites typically happen more often as children visit petting zoos and interact with neighborhood pets. Even power washers with extreme water pressure can cause lacerations and chemical injections.
Go out and have fun this summer, make your yard look beautiful, but remember to use caution. In the event of an accident, Arnot Health has many levels of treatment and ongoing care. If you must go to the emergency room, you may require additional checkups from an orthopedic surgeon like me or visits to the Wound Center at Arnot Health.
So as always, if you’d like more information or want to schedule an appointment, click here to find my contact information listed in the Arnot Health provider directory. And please feel free to email me directly or comment below with any thoughts and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a safe and happy summer!
Dr. Beth Dollinger