Yard Work Safety Rules for Kids

Even though yard work can be dangerous, you can give little gardeners the chance to be helpful in the yard by following a few yard work safety rules and precautions:

  • Always give clear instructions when allowing kids to use yard equipment. Teach kids to put away yard tools after using them, and show them where they need to go. Keep the tools standing upright in plain view when getting ready to use them. Then practice these rules yourself to model good safety practices.
  • Kids under age 10 should not be doing any yard work unsupervised. Make sure they follow procedures for bagging or piling yard debris or leaves in the appropriate way.
  • Never leave rakes, hoes, shears, shovels and pointed tools on the ground. The parts can be hard to see, and they are easily stepped on or tripped over. Kids who are six or younger should not use any tool with a sharp point or edge.
  • Pruning shears and other sharp tools should not be used by children under age 13. If you involve kids in planting, raking or pulling weeds, give them gardening gloves and proper instruction.
  • Do not allow children near ladders at any time. It is easy for a ladder to fall on a child, or a child can knock over or fall off a ladder. Avoid any problems by keeping kids away from them during use.
  • Kids younger than 13 are not old enough to use power lawn equipment safely. If you wish to show your teen how to use the mower, be sure to go over every step with him or her and watch him or her use the equipment the first time. That way, you know the teen understands the directions and will use all proper precautions. Also be sure you and your teen wear full shoes while mowing.
  • Before using a mower, remove any sticks, toys, gloves, electrical cords or debris from the grass. These items can be shredded or get caught in the mower. They can also fly up and injure you or anyone nearby.
  • Pets should not be allowed outside during yard work involving power tools. A pet could run under a mower or cause the person using the power equipment to get distracted by the pet's behavior.
  • Bug repellent and sunscreen should be worn for protection during yard work. Keep these products handy if you plan on being outside for a long time so it's easy to reapply.
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