The sun is planning to make an appearance at some point this summer, so that means barbecues and sitting in the garden getting a tan. But first, you’ve got to sort the grass out.

A lot of people take great pride in the art of lawn mowing and find the whole process one of summertime tradition and relaxation. Well, that’s until they go and chop a toe off because they weren’t concentrating.

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OK, that’s a bit extreme, but the truth is, lawn mowers can be as dangerous to humans as they are to camouflaged hedgehogs.

In the past, stats have even shown that more people end up in A&E because they’ve had an accident working on the garden, than for playing sports.

[Read more: 11 Ways to look after you lawn]

So, what are the dangers of lawn mowers, and how can you avoid them?

Wear shoes

Yes, we know. This sounds so obvious. But you'd be susprised how many people mow the lawn with flip-flops on, or worse, nothing at all! Always wear shoes for added protection. 

Know how to mow

If you have to cut grass on a verge or slope, always do so from side to side. As tempting as it is to go up and down, don't. This movement will mean you have limited control over your mower.

Hold your breath

The fumes emitted by petrol-driven mowers are packed with chemicals and carcinogens. Limit your exposure to them by wearing a mask and mowing for as short a time as is possible.

Don’t get burnt

Mower blades and engines can get really hot, so never refill the fuel tank just after use. Always wait until the mower has fully cooled down before touching.

Reccy your lawn

Mower blades are speedy and can pick up and throw small items such as twigs, woodchips and rocks, causing cuts and bruising. So be sure to have a scan of your grass and remove anything like that before you fire up the machine. 

Protect your eyes

You don’t know what could be lurking in long grass, ready to fly out when it’s disturbed, so pop on a pair of goggles just to be on the safe side.

Keep pets indoors

For obvious reasons, you don’t want to accidentally give your dog a trim too…