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Toddlers and Riding Mowers


kids on a riding lawn mower

My in-laws keep telling my twin 2 year olds about taking them for a ride on their new lawn mower/tractor. Is this something you think is safe? I think it sounds dangerous and putting them in a compromising situation that they don't need to be in but sometimes wonder if I'm the over protective mom.

Clearly, children should not ride on or even be near a mower that is actively cutting the grass. The tougher question is “Is it safe for my 2 year olds to ride on a lawn tractor with blades off” . This question quickly evokes two memories:

1.) As pictured above, I have fond memories of riding with my grandfather on his mower (blades off) after he cut the yard. The rules were clear. We were not allowed outside until the grass was cut and then my Grandpa would take each of us for a ride.

2.) In great contrast I have a patient who ran out to see his Dad while he was cutting the grass. His father ran over him with the lawn tractor. At three years old this patient lost one foot and a portion of his leg.

Weighing both memories, I’d recommend not letting your two year olds ride on the tractor. I fear they will think it a toy and not the potential danger it truly can be. As he gets older and demonstrates a clear understanding of the safety issues it should be safe.


Written October 2012 by
Dr. Gordon, Windermere Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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