Palm Harbor, FL – The gruesome accident happened around 7:30 pm Wednesday, outside of a home on Hollow Ridge Road, in the Westlake Village Subdivision.
According to a statement by the local fire and rescue, the 2-year-old daughter of the couple at the residence raced into the yard towards her father on the riding lawn mower. Neither the child or her father heeded the warning screams of the mother, who had only taken her watchful eye off the child for a moment.
The little girl slipped and fell into the immediate path of the vehicle, and her father was unable to stop the mower in time, reports My Fox Tampa Bay.
The blades instantly amputated both of the toddler’s legs just below the knee, and part of her hand. The child was flown to Tampa General Hospital for treatment. No additional information is available at this time regarding her progress.
The parents, who are not being named in media reports, are being treated for hysteria and shock, symptoms of extreme emotional distress over the ordeal. Authorities consider the incident an unfortunate accident, and charges will not be filed.
Statistically, over 250,000 people — 17,000 of them children under 19 — are injured in lawn mower-related accidents each year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Academy of Pediatrics. Most injuries surround severed fingers and toes, limb amputations, broken bones, and eye injuries.
The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) have teamed up to educate adults about the critical importance of lawn mower safety.
The collaborative suggests children under 12 should never be permitted to ride or operate a lawn mower, nor should they be passengers. Keep young children at a safe distance from the mowing area. Blades should only be adjusted by an adult. Shoes should be worn, not open-toed. Polycarbonate protective eyewear should be worn. Comb the yard and remove rocks, sticks, toys, rusty gardening tools, and other foreign objects before mowing to limit hazardous flying debris.
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