Are Lawn Mowers Age Restricted?

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Keeping your lawns nourished, healthy, and trimmed is something most proud homeowners take seriously. However, being parents, child safety is also an issue many of those same homeowners take seriously. Unfortunately, when lawn care and child care come together the results are disastrous far too often.

Each year thousands of children are injured by lawn mowers. Most of the time the injury is caused by an avoidable mistake. Often that error is due to a child who is operating a mower carelessly.

At what age is a child old enough to operate a lawn mower?

As stated above, a fairly large number of children are involved in lawn mower accidents each year. That’s why lawn mowers are age restricted. The legal age limit to operate a walk-behind lawn mower is 12 years old and the legal age to operate a riding lawn mower is 16 years old.

However, even with age limits in place, you should make sure that your child exhibits the maturity to operate a lawn mower and understands lawn mower safety standards.

Things your teen or pre-teen should know before being allowed to operate a lawn mower.

Safety comes first, and your teen or pre-teen should have a firm understanding of lawn mower safety standards even if they are at the legal age limit to operate a mower. Many parents make the mistake of thinking that since the child meets the age requirements, they should understand what to do and what not to do in regards to lawnmower safety.

Don’t leave this up to common sense. Children often make mistakes.

So make sure your child understands these safety rules about operating the lawn mower:

  • No horsing around whatsoever when operating the lawn mower. The lawn mower is a piece of machinery that can cause serious injuries if not operated safety. It should be treated as such.
  • Make sure all other children especially babies and toddlers are in the house are at a safe distance away when you are operating the mower.
  • Never operate the mower during bad weather conditions like heavy winds and thunderstorms.
  • Never mow wet grass.
  • Always mow in daylight.
  • Clear the area you will be mowing of debris such as toys, twigs, and rocks.
  • Never allow small children to ride as passengers on riding lawnmowers.

You will also want to make sure that your teen or pre-teen understands to always turn off the more in these situations:

  • When crossing a gravel path or road.
  • When removing the grass catcher.
  • When unclogging the discharge chute.
  • When walking away from the mower for even a short period.


Once again the legal age for your child to operate a walk-behind lawn mower is 12 years old. For riding mowers, the legal age is 16 years old.

Of course, after going over all of the safety rules with your child it is a good idea to first teach them by example, and then monitor their first few instances of operating the mower to make sure they adhere to all the safety rules and precautions. Until you are confident the child can handle the task alone, continue to supervise them.

Mowing your lawn is a must if you want to keep your yard looking beautiful. And with proper guidance, age, and maturity your child can help with this.

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