Awareness Campaigns


Lawn Mower Injury Prevention Campaign   VIEW PRESS RELEASE HERE

As the school year draws to a close, thousands of children across the country will take on a familiar chore: mowing the lawn. Safety is always a priority, and three national medical organizations are warning families that the routine task of lawn mowing can be extremely dangerous to children, the operator, and those nearby if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.


According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2013 more than 301,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries in a clinic or emergency department, or were admitted to the hospital. More than 10,500 of them are children under age 18, and approximately one-third of lawn mower-related injuries are serious enough to be treated in an emergency department.    


“Behind the often pleasant summer task of mowing the yard lurks a serious threat to the health of children, youth and adults. We are hopeful that disseminating information about lawn mower safety may eliminate the thousands of mutilating and at times fatal injuries resulting from the use of both riding and push- or walk-behind lawn mowers,” said ASRM President Allen T. Bishop, MD. “If we are to avoid a life-changing event to a family member, appropriate prevention is vital.”


With the summer mowing season in effect, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) are joining forces to educate adults and children about the importance of lawn mower safety.  

Lawn mower injury prevention tips include:


  • Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
  • Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower, and age 16 to operate a driving lawn mower.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with good traction
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Have anyone who uses a mower or is in the vicinity wear polycarbonate protective eyewear at all times. 
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, inspecting or repairing lawn mower equipment or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
  • Use a stick or broom handle (not your hands or feet) to remove debris in lawn mowers.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers and keep children out of the yard while mowing.
  • Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.
  • Keep lawn mowers in good working order. When using a lawn mower for the first time in a season, have it serviced to ensure that it is working correctly.


 National Dog Bite Prevention Week  / May 18-24, 2014                                                           VIEW PRESS RELEASE HERE

The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery is working with the U.S. Postal Service, non-profit community, insurance industry and veterinarians to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable.  According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually- more than half of whom are children.  Statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control show that from 2003-2012, dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9 and 10th for ages 10-14.  In 2013 approximately 27,000 reconstructive procedures were done to repair dog bites as reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 

Dr. Allen Bishop, President of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery shares “Prevention of these serious injuries is an important responsibility of dog owners as well as parents. Socialization of puppies to other people, proper obedience training, and avoiding pet ownership until children are older are important safety measures. Children should be taught to avoid exciting an animal by running past it, or disturbing it when sleeping or eating. Injuries to the face and hands can be disfiguring or disabling and require prompt, expert medical attention.”  The ASRM joined this coalition to bring awareness to this typically overlooked danger and its extent of life changing injuries that are preventable. 

Remember the following tips:

  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet
  • Ask permission before touching or playing with a dog
  • Remember that any dog can be dangerous and any dog can bite

As a leader in the medical community we want to inform you what steps need to be taken if you are bitten:

  • Rinse the bite area with soapy water.
  • Elevate limb(s) that have been bitten.
  • Apply antiseptic lotion or cream. Watch the area for signs of infection for several days after the incident.
  • For deeper bites or puncture wounds, apply pressure with a clean bandage or towel to stop the bleeding. Then wash the wound, dry it and cover with a sterile dressing. Don’t use tape or butterfly bandages to close the wound.
  • It’s a good idea to call your child’s physician because a bite could require antibiotics or a tetanus shot.  The doctor also can help you to report the incident.
  • If your child is bitten severely, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.
  • When going to the emergency room, advise the personnel of:
  • your tetanus vaccination status;
  • vaccine status of the dog;
  • who the dog owner is; and,
  • If the dog has bitten before.




ASRM And National Health And Safety Advocates Team Up To Warn Of Firework Dangers

The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery partners with other health and safety advocates to educate the public on the dangers of consumer fireworks and the dramatic increase of risk of fire and injury with their use. This alliance encourages the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and instead, to enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals. The “Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks” was founded by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and consists of many health organizations such as the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Burn Association and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The ASRM has been a part of this alliance for several years and we encourage you as a member and as a surgeon to spread the word on the dangers of consumer fireworks.

Full press release and VIDEO HERE 






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