In light of two recent summer accidents in Durham Region – a young boy injuring himself in a lawn mower and a swimmer diving into shallow water – the Durham Regional Police would like to remind everyone to use precaution during the summer months. Below is advice for both the gardener and swimmer.
Mowing the lawn
• It’s strongly recommended to use a mower with a control that stops the mower from moving forward if the handle is let go.
• Ride-on mowers are considered motor vehicles. Therefore, children under 16 years of age are prohibited from operating them.
• Children younger than 12 years of age should never use walk-behind mowers.
• Sandals and sneakers are not recommended footwear while mowing. Sturdy shoes, steel-plated if possible, should only be used.
• Before mowing, take a brief walk around the lawn to remove stones or toys that could pose a threat as a flying object.
• Make sure children are a safe distance and well away from the area you plan to mow.
• Start and refuel the motor outdoors for proper ventilation and only refuel with the motor turned off and cooled.
• Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher or crossing gravel paths & roads.
• Ride-on mowers are single-occupant vehicles; never allow more than one person, especially a child, to ride as a passenger.
Taking a swim
• Always swim in pairs. People of all ages can become tired after swimming or develop cramps, so it’s a smart idea to keep someone close to help if needed.
• What lies under the water’s surface is the most important information you can have before swimming. Look for signs that say “Shallow water” or “No diving” that will indicate the depth of the water below. These signs could be posted because of rocks, logs or shallow waters. Always test the waters before diving in.
• Children are encouraged to take swimming lessons, for these lessons teach safety in and out of the water as well as instructions for what to do in an emergency. Children should always be supervised while swimming regardless of their skill in the pool, and if your child has not learned how to swim yet, a fitted life jacket should be worn at all times.
In the event of an accident: do not panic and remain calm. Gauge the extent of the injury and call 911 in an emergency situation.
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