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What age to mow the lawn?


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#1 mom2jjka

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:38 PM

My 10 (boy) and 12 (girl) year olds want to learn to mow the lawn this year, but I am wondering if it is safe for kids that age to mow. (We have a self-propelled, gas powered, push mower.)

At what age did you let your kids start mowing?

#2 Old Dominion Heather

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:49 PM

My son started mowing our lawn with a push mower last year. He was nine. It is a fairly level yard, no way to flip the thing over anyway, with a safety kill switch on the handle that must be held in order to keep the thing on.

I started mowing when I was seven or eight.

#3 tmulcahy

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:51 PM

It will not be close to perfect. There will be spots missed----lots of them. Rows might not be very straight : ) My son started to mow using the riding mower at 10yo. He just used the push mower for the first time today because our riding mower broke. He did a great job. If they don't try they won't learn. I say give it a shot.

#4 Blueridge

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:53 PM

Funny you asked this...our rider just died and my dh bought a new gas push mower. When he got home with it, our 10 and 12 year old girls begged him to let them mow. So, once they got on socks and shoes and long pants, he showed them how to mow a bit safely. They also used their sun glasses, which doubled as safety glasses. ;) They were ecstatic, dad got a resting break, and it all seemed to go very smoothly. So now they can mow as long as we are within eye shot.

#5 Desert Rat

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

My dh is over the moon with your answers, ladies. My ds will be 10 next month. I think it's time to introduce him to the lawn mower! :)

#6 Ishki

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:25 PM

I was mowing my parents' yard when I was 9 to 10, and it was not a small yard. I guess way back then people didn't consider all the safety issues. There were several summers when my girlfriend and I made our fun money mowing yards around the neighborhood. We were probably 13 at that time.

My girls have never mowed the yard. Only because their dad enjoys it. We have a very big yard. He uses a riding mower and takes his time. His way of relaxing.

I would certainly let him do it - with some safety instructions.

#7 mrbmom77

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 04:54 PM

My 10 yr old girl mows with a self-propelled push mower. We may let her use the riding mower this summer. I never mowed as a kid b/c I had 2 brothers - they mowed spring and summer, I washed dishes year-round. :)

#8 Daisy

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:09 PM

My husband still has to start the lawn mower and he supervises, but my 10.5yo daughter mows the lawn sometimes.

#9 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:11 PM

My husband still has to start the lawn mower and he supervises, but my 10.5yo daughter mows the lawn sometimes.


We do similarly. I start the mower (ds12 has tried but his arms aren't quite long enough). I make sure that he mows only on level ground. He is not allowed to go on sloped parts of our yard because then you add gravity to the mix.

#10 Jennifer in MI

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:27 PM

My oldest started around 9. Now, both oldest boys can edge, whip, and use the mower. The youngest will start this summer.

#11 Tree House Academy

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:28 PM

My son started mowing our very flat yard with a riding mower (several acres that we have to mow) when he was almost 9. He will soon be 11 and is actually mowing as I type. ;)

#12 Jennifer in MI

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:34 PM

My son started mowing our very flat yard with a riding mower (several acres that we have to mow) when he was almost 9. He will soon be 11 and is actually mowing as I type. ;)


My dad taught us to mow when we were 8 - riding mower - 2 acres! We loved it!!!!

#13 LibraryLover

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:00 PM

Basic push mower: As soon as they can push it.

Push mower with motor: 11 Although our 10 yr old will do while we are outside supervising.

Sit on your bum: 12 or 13 Although my 10 yr old can do it. If we are outside, we let her.

I always suggest supervsion for power tools. ;)

#14 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:03 PM

Yeah, I'd let them as long as your yard isn't very odd or something.

I had a kid in one of my 3rd grade classes making $175/mo mowing yards. That isn't much, but it's more than most 8yr olds make! It's more than either of MY kids are making!

But honestly, I would never have dreamed of allowing my kids at 8 or 10 to use a riding mower!

BTW, another consideration: state laws linked here in other posts suggest you should at least look that up. I was surprised how old some of them say kids must be!

#15 fairfarmhand

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:23 PM

riding mower--when she was old enough to not trip the safety switch...about 11.

still haven't done the push mower. But be careful, my adult brother nearly cut off his toes mowing his ditch, and he was an adult! He had gobs of stitches and was a fraction of an inch from losing some toes!

I'd advise level ground for a kid.

#16 elise1mds

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:27 PM

My son will be allowed to use the riding mower when he's about 10. We don't have a lot to push mow, so he'll probably be 11 or so before he gets to use that one. When I was 13, I had a job making $100+ a pop mowing the lawn at a local business. Dad drove me and the equipment there and back and did some of the weedeating, for which he got a take at the end of the season, but the mowing and hedge trimming was my job.

#17 Jennifer in MI

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:27 PM

Yeah, I'd let them as long as your yard isn't very odd or something.

I had a kid in one of my 3rd grade classes making $175/mo mowing yards. That isn't much, but it's more than most 8yr olds make! It's more than either of MY kids are making!

But honestly, I would never have dreamed of allowing my kids at 8 or 10 to use a riding mower!

BTW, another consideration: state laws linked here in other posts suggest you should at least look that up. I was surprised how old some of them say kids must be!


I had a VERY motivated 8 yo! He would use our manual mower and electric whip. He charged $20/yard. He worked SOOOO hard!!!! He made quite a bit of money that summer!

#18 Terabith

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:36 PM

Your kids WANT to mow the lawn???? Heck yeah, let em!

I think as soon as they can easily see over it, they're ready to mow. 9 or 10 ish. Although if I had an enthusiastic and trustworthy, safety conscious 8 year old, I would probably let him/ her.

#19 Mandamom

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:48 PM

Flat land only riding mower with supervision -- my daughter just started at 9 years old. I think my older stepson was around 10 or so when he started.

My oldest stepson was around 12 or so and was never very good at driving it. He was one the one who kept running into the fence. BTW, he's a very very cautious car driver.

My almost 8 year old will probably be around 11 or so I think unless she gets some more strength.

I think my 4 year old will have it apart in a couple of weeks :lol:

#20 katemary63

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:23 PM

Lawn mowers are dangerous. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and then someone looses an appendage or even their life. I saw a story once about a mother who accidentally ran over her two year old daughter and evicerated her. She was a very responsible, careful mother. She checked behind her. But by then, the child had fallen and was out of her field of vision. Can you imagine how terrible that would be for a sibling to have to live through if they were the one's that did it? Even adults can injure themselves and others with a lawnmower. Be careful!

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/june09lawnmower.htm

The AAP, AAOS, ASMA, ASPS and ASRM offer the following tips to help prevent lawn mower-related injuries:
  • Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
  • Young children should be at a safe distance from the mowing area.
  • Pick up stones, toys and debris first from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • Always wear eye and hearing protection.
  • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
  • Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – always look for others behind you when you do.
  • Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
  • Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
  • Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads. (As a safety feature, some newer models have a blade/brake clutch that stops the blade each time the operator releases the handle.)


#21 Gratia271

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:27 PM

Lawn mowers are dangerous. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and then someone looses an appendage or even their life. I saw a story once about a mother who accidentally ran over her two year old daughter and evicerated her. She was a very responsible, careful mother. She checked behind her. But by then, the child had fallen and was out of her field of vision. Can you imagine how terrible that would be for a sibling to have to live through if they were the one's that did it? Even adults can injure themselves and others with a lawnmower. Be careful!

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/june09lawnmower.htm

The AAP, AAOS, ASMA, ASPS and ASRM offer the following tips to help prevent lawn mower-related injuries:

  • Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
  • Young children should be at a safe distance from the mowing area.
  • Pick up stones, toys and debris first from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • Always wear eye and hearing protection.
  • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
  • Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – always look for others behind you when you do.
  • Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
  • Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
  • Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads. (As a safety feature, some newer models have a blade/brake clutch that stops the blade each time the operator releases the handle.)


Wow! I had never thought about this. Mine are not old enough to mow anyway.

#22 QueenCath

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:40 PM

When we lived in a suburban county in GA, the local hospital reported lawn mower injuries in children 12 and under to social services. Social services would come out, and make the parents take safety training, and expect the home for other safety issues.

#23 Alphabetika

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:41 PM

We have the same type of lawnmower that you do. My middle dd started when she was 9, with help. Now that she can start the mower on her own strength, she mows without direct supervision. It was her big sister's job up until a year or so ago.

#24 Lolly

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:47 PM

I've found it really depends more on the size of the kid. My first started on the riding mower at 12. The twins at 11. Ds at 10. Push mowing took longer. Two of the girls were 14 before they could manage it. One still can't. They just weren't physically strong/big enough to manage the mower. Ds could handle the push mower at 11. Today, ds13 got his very own push mower. He is quite impressed with himself.:D

#25 Reya

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:50 PM

When tall enough! :-))))

My kids are tiny. By the time they're tall enough, they'd be plenty old!

We actually have a riding mower. That's a lot more dangerous. I don't know about that one!

#26 cjzimmer1

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:06 PM

Lawn mowers are dangerous. An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and then someone looses an appendage or even their life. I saw a story once about a mother who accidentally ran over her two year old daughter and evicerated her. She was a very responsible, careful mother. She checked behind her. But by then, the child had fallen and was out of her field of vision. Can you imagine how terrible that would be for a sibling to have to live through if they were the one's that did it? Even adults can injure themselves and others with a lawnmower. Be careful!

http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/june09lawnmower.htm

The AAP, AAOS, ASMA, ASPS and ASRM offer the following tips to help prevent lawn mower-related injuries:

  • Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.
  • Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
  • Young children should be at a safe distance from the mowing area.
  • Pick up stones, toys and debris first from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • Always wear eye and hearing protection.
  • Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
  • Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – always look for others behind you when you do.
  • Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
  • Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
  • Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads. (As a safety feature, some newer models have a blade/brake clutch that stops the blade each time the operator releases the handle.)

:iagree:

I've been very surprised to see how many people let their young children mow the lawn. I have read numorous articles over the years about how dangerous it is for kids to mow lawn (Like anything under 16). I know for our local hospitals a huge percentages of injuries to kids under 16 in the summer are due to lawnmower injuries (not sure if it was due to the child mower or an adult). I don't have the stats any more but it was enough that I told my hubby there was no way were letter DS run a mower with a motor. We have a true push mower (no motor) that we have DS12 use when we need him to help.

#27 Lolly

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:24 PM

:iagree:

I've been very surprised to see how many people let their young children mow the lawn. I have read numorous articles over the years about how dangerous it is for kids to mow lawn (Like anything under 16). I know for our local hospitals a huge percentages of injuries to kids under 16 in the summer are due to lawnmower injuries (not sure if it was due to the child mower or an adult). I don't have the stats any more but it was enough that I told my hubby there was no way were letter DS run a mower with a motor. We have a true push mower (no motor) that we have DS12 use when we need him to help.


So, they are old enough to be driving a motorcyle on their own and a car with supervision (legally), but not old enough to mow the grass? :tongue_smilie:

#28 jentancalann

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:25 PM

We started letting Tanner when he was 9, with supervision, and DFACS was callled on us. Someone drove by and saw him mowing and his then 7 yo brother pushing a wheel barrow (didn't see us, apparently). All turned out fine and the case was dropped, however, the case worker suggested that 11 would be much better. I really wish people would mind their own business.

#29 QueenCath

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:29 PM

So, they are old enough to be driving a motorcyle on their own and a car with supervision (legally), but not old enough to mow the grass? :tongue_smilie:


I'm of the belief that the driving age should be higher than 16.... but I think mowing is fine for most by the age of 13-14.....


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