Steps Farmers Can Take To Keep Kids Safe

Posted on October 7, 2013

A new report from the High Plains Journal has come out which examines a safety event that recently took place in Kansas.  That particular event focused on the myriad ways that safety can be assured on the farm, with a special emphasis on helping kids understand the dangers that exist and aiding parents in protecting kids from those hazards.  The article holds some insights that persons across the country should understand.

Much of the focus was on those pieces of equipment that may seem innocuous to a seasoned hand but that can create a significant risk when children are around.  For instance, any piece of equipment that needs to be driven should be operated only by those who are capable.  It’s important not to start children off on such machines too early.  If a child isn’t ready for the responsibility, the machine could tip or the kid could simply lose control, putting themselves and others in the vicinity in danger.  Even adult operators have to be careful, looking out for persons in the area so that they don’t roll over anyone.

Stories were shared at the event pointing out the hazards associated with many pieces of equipment by relating tragedies relating to those.  A baler, for instance, could crush a child if the bale itself is discharged.  Children were also treated to a presentation on what happens when a grain truck loses oil pressure; its bed sinks to the ground, and if someone is beneath at that time, they could be crushed.

In fact, much of what was presented should serve as a lesson that children and adults alike should tread lightly around farm equipment, always signaling to others when they’re around.  Operators should conduct a thorough check to make sure they aren’t about to endanger someone’s life.

Attention to safety must also be paid when farm vehicles or other types of automobiles are taken onto the road.  It can be tempting when driving around a farm to simply hop in the back of a pickup, but this runs contrary to how safety should be approached in light of the fact that most accidents occur within a few miles of a home.  Seatbelts can be used to counteract this danger, as can avoiding riding in a pickup bed or otherwise driving or riding in such a way that creates a hazard.

Safety must also be assured if ATVs are being used to get around the farm.  Children who are going to be asked to ride should be signed up for safety courses that can teach them proper riding techniques, and even adults should watch their speeds and take their time around obstacles.

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