With spring well and truly upon us and the grass growing faster than a cute cats instagram account, our suburban afternoons ring with the sound of lawns being mowed.
I am here to warn you that in spring it is not just the swooping magpies that you need to watch out for. It is also the season for severe hand injuries.
When I was working as an Emergency Department nurse, every year around this time we would treat lacerated, macerated and miscellaneously mulched up hands of people who stick their fingers into the blades of running lawnmowers.
It sounds pretty bleeding obvious that this would be a really bad idea. And you might be a little too quick to label anyone who did such a foolish thing a gimp-legged bubble-headed muppet.
But in reality it is so very easy to do. Here’s the usual scenario:
It is a hot day. You are fatigued but almost finished. You have just returned to your idling mower after emptying out a hard earned penultimate load of grass clippings.
You try to re-attatch the grass catcher but there is a lump of wet grass…right there…where it needs to slide in.
You totally know the mower is running. But it looks absolutely fine to reach in ever such a tiny way to grab that clump of grass. Just a second and it will be done. There is a cold beer in the fridge calling your name.
Those steel blades spinning at somewhere around 3,600 revolutions per minute are totally invisible. Right there where you thought they weren’t.
They will, without so much as a micro-hesitation, rearrange the gross anatomy of your fingers and hand and send you off into a whole new world of pain and medical interventions – that believe me- you do not want to become familiar with. Suffice to say that the beer in your fridge will be sitting there unopened for a considerable time.
So. That is my simple spring warning to add to your list.
- Wear a mask when you should.
- Wash your hands when you can.
- Watch out for magpies when riding your bike.
- Don’t stick your fingers in the lawn mower.
You are welcome.