Spring has sprung and everyone is busy grooming the lawn.

People are weeding and mowing to make their lawn a thing of beauty and a place to relax.

With everyone mowing their lawns this is an ideal time to address safety while tackling this chore.

A recent issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine contains a report on lawn mower injuries.

Emergency room and hospital records from recent years reveal that nearly 663,400 people went to the emergency room and almost 12,000 people were hospitalized in lawn mower accidents.

These injuries include deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken and dislocated bones, burns, debris in eyes, and other assorted injuries.

Before you begin mowing, pick up all sticks, rocks, and toys in the yard.

Wear sturdy shoes and eye protection while mowing.

Keep children and pets indoors.

Lawn mowers can propel objects at very high speeds.

Flying objects can seriously injure a nearby child or pet.

Do not allow children younger than 14 to use riding mowers.

Do not allow children younger than 12 to use walk-behind mowers.

Never allow young children to ride on your lap while you are mowing.

A wiggly youngster can slip out of your grasp and fall in front of the mower in an instant.

Do not disengage the safety devices.

Mower models that have "dead man switches," which immediately kill the mower engine if you let go, can be aggravating but this is for your safety.

Do not tape them down!

Refuel you mower outdoors, in a well-ventilated area.

Make sure your engine has cooled before filling it; otherwise, a small spill can result in a fire.

Close the gas can and move it away from the mower before starting the engine.

These rules apply to string trimmers as well.

I have seen people using a string trimmer while wearing shorts.

Green legs and socks are a by-product of this method.

When using a string trimmer, protective eye gear is a must.

Sound like a lot of rules just to do a little yard work?

The pay-off will be a beautiful lawn and good health to enjoy it!

And the sun sank slowly over the lush, green lawn.

For additional information on Lawn More safety please contact the Neshoba County Extension office at (601) 656-4602.