Amputee Coalition Urges Parents to Keep Children Inside While Mowing; 600 Children Will Undergo Mower-Related Amputations This Year

Kevin Manuel In The News

New PSA Highlights Families’ Stories of Mower Accidents and Amputations

The Amputee Coalition has endorsed a powerful lawn mower safety and accident prevention PSA to be released today. Produced by Limbs Matter, a group of parents whose children have undergone an amputation due to lawn mower accidents, the PSA urges parents to keep children indoors when mowing the lawn, and to practice safety measures when operating lawn mowers.

The Amputee Coalition and Limbs Matter remind parents: spring is here and kids want to play outside, but in one split second, a preventable lawn mower accident can change a child and his or her family’s life forever.

The group of 12 families from 10 states who have experienced this tragedy first-hand came together to create this important PSA emphasizing lawn mower safety.

The Amputee Coalition and Limbs Matter present “Limbs Matter.” See the PSA here.

The Amputee Coalition and Limbs Matter urge print and broadcast media nationwide to air the PSA and interview families who have been affected. Getting this message out will save kids’ limbs and lives. For an immediate interview with the Bainters or other families throughout the country, contact Melanie Staten, Amputee Coalition, 865/776-8227.

“Depending on where you live in the U.S., you may mow your lawn 30 times or more this year. Every time you start your mower, you are dealing with a dangerous and potentially deadly piece of equipment” said Susan Stout, president & CEO of the Amputee Coalition.

The “Limbs Matter” PSA is being officially released the first week of April to emphasize the fact that lawn mower accidents typically begin during the month of April. Eleven of the 12 children who participated in the PSA lost their limbs in a lawn mower accident between April and August.

Brett and Jodi Bainter from Orlando, Florida organized the filming of the PSA, bringing together this group of brave families. Twelve years ago this month, their 15-year-old son, Jake, lost his right leg in a lawn mower accident. Brett was operating the mower on that day. In an instant, the Bainter’s lives were changed forever.

Over the last 12 years, Brett and Jodi have counseled approximately 30 lawn mower accident families. Each story is similar and equally devastating. Usually the lawn mower was operated by a parent or a family member. Injuries from these types of accidents are life-altering and leave these children with severe injuries or as amputees. For this reason, the group felt they needed to continue to share their story until they can minimize or eliminate these types of accidents across the United States.

“At the hospital, I was told it was a freak accident but I continued to learn of accidents year after year,” Brett said.  “Even though our accident happened a long time ago, the pain never goes away. We just felt like we could no longer stand by. We decided to do something.”

Statistics: According to results presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in March, injuries were caused most often when children ran behind a mower; slipped under the mower while riding as a passenger; collided with mower blades when machines were steered in reverse; or were struck by a mower that rolled over due to an uneven and/or wet surface. In many cases, adults did not realize children were near the mower when injuries occurred.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics are shocking: Each year, 800 children are run over by riding mowers or small tractors and more than 600 of those incidents result in amputation; 75 people are killed, and 20,000 injured; one in five deaths involves a child. For children under age 10, major limb loss is most commonly caused by lawn mowers.