Keeping Kids Safe Around Lawn Mowers: Tate’s Story

Tate Manahl was only three years old when he was involved in a lawn mower accident, resulting in life-threatening injuries. Tate was airlifted to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and spent 53 days there. He underwent over 30 surgeries and spent 16 months in a leg brace. Watch this video to learn more about Tate’s story:

When injuries from lawn mowers happen, they are often serious. Lawn mowers send over 9,000 children to emergency departments across the country every year. These injuries are preventable and it all starts with you taking the steps to protect your children.

Lawn Mower Safety Advice

Photo from Tate’s Army Foundation Inc.

Here are some tools to put into practice to keep your children safe in your lawn:

  • The simplest one: Keep young children inside when mowing your lawn. This is the best way to prevent lawn mower accidents, and it could potentially save your child’s life. 
  • Don’t mow in reverse. This creates a greater risk for a child to be unseen and get injured. Only mow in reverse if you absolutely have to, and make sure all children are inside if you have to do so. 
  • Don’t let children ride on the lawn mower with you. Doing so gives kids the false impression that they are allowed around the mower. Making sure kids know that lawn mowers are not a toy is important when discussing lawn mower safety with your children. 
  • Only children 12 or older should be allowed to use a push lawn mower and children should be at least 16 to operate a riding mower. Make sure your child shows maturity and responsibility and knows how to handle the lawn mower before you give them this chore.
  • Even after the mower is turned off, keep children away from it. The mower stays hot and can cause serious burns if a child touches it. Let the mower cool off before allowing children near it. 
The Manahl family – photo from Tate’s Army Foundation, Inc.

Since his accident, Tate has recovered in leaps and bounds and is now very active, running around and riding his bike. Tate’s parents Ryan and Fonda Manahl founded Tate’s Army Foundation, a nonprofit committed to educating people about lawn mower safety. Learn more.


About the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store

The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Safety Store is the first of its kind in Iowa. Open to anyone, the Safety Store serves families across the state. They are committed to making your child’s world a safer place. The Safety Store offers low-cost child safety products and adaptable safety products designed specifically for children with special health care and educational needs.

Don’t hesitate to use the Safety Store’s certified child injury prevention experts and reach out before you order if you have specific needs or questions about keeping your children safe. They are wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable, plus this expert service is free! You can call 319-356-3543 or email [email protected].

Shop the Safety Store in person within University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital or online.


This is a sponsored post. ICMoms was compensated for sharing this piece.  However, we love connecting our readers with resources and organizations that are enriching our community, and we think you will find this information helpful and informative.

At Iowa City Moms Blog we’re a group of local moms who are passionate about connecting other moms to one another and to our community! Whether you’re an experienced mom, a newbie, expecting, or aspiring to be a mom someday, this blog is for you! Join us as we navigate this journey that is motherhood in the Iowa City area!

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