I can't even remember how many times I rode on my grandpas knee as we mowed the lawn on the old Sears Craftsman 8 hp 38" cut mower with the deck wheels that actually heald the deck off the ground. 3 speed and no brakes at all. No hills though. And my Grandpa was a stickler for saftey. He would always make sure I was not in the way of the dischargs side of the mower and would remind me often to look away even if I was some distance away. Yeah, everything about what was happening was dangerous but times were different even then.
I think too many people are making kids too soft these days, making them afraid of everything telling them that they can be hurt doing just about anything.
I have a couple lawns I mow where the kids are like this. Granted I don't want them out there following me or even outside for that matter, but for a 5 year old boy to cower in fear and start bawling when I mow, trim, or even have the blower idling is nuts. I know what's caused it too. One very over protective mother that's taught him to be afraid of everything so he dosn't ever get hurt.
Sorry, but getting hurt once in a while is part of growing up...
I know I won't worry about losing the lawn to him when he gets old enough to mow, he will either be in front of a video game or a computer 24/7 because he wil be afraid to go outside and get a bug bite.