By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
It’s almost fall harvest season! Each September, during National Farm Safety and Health Week, we are reminded of the importance of keeping safety in mind all the time. This year’s Farm Safety & Health Week is September 18 – 24, 2016 and focuses on the theme, “A Legacy to be Proud of!”
Sadly, the statistics are devastating! Every 3 days a child dies and every day 33 children are injured due to agricultural-related incidents. Protecting our future generation needs to be a top priority! Avoid cutting corners, slow down and take a more patient approach to prevent injuries and fatalities on the farm. Following these 3 tips can help protect our future generation of farmers.
- The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) can help prevent health issues in adulthood.
- Skin cancer is often linked to severe sunburns and sun exposure during childhood. Provide children with sunscreen and wide brim hats when in the sun.
- Encourage use of hearing protection to help prevent hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises often found on the farm.
- Children visiting the farm need protection too
- Non-farm families visiting the farmstead may not understand safe practices regarding animals, chemicals and equipment. Establish and enforce rules for all visitors to ensure safety and avoid farm-related incidents.
- Supervision is important for all children, but especially for those unfamiliar with farming.
- Make the play area more fun than the farmstead.
- Safety first means safety always and for everyone.
- Teach children what to do in the event of a fire, severe weather and other emergency situations. Instruct them on dialing 911 and knowing the physical address of the farm.
- Teach children how to properly use farm equipment before assigning them to any farm task and supervise them closely, especially when they are new to a task.
- Show children how to properly use a fire extinguisher and have them assemble first aid kits for use in the home, in the barn and on farm equipment.
- Role model safe behavior and do not allow extra riders on tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Never allow children to play in grain bins.
Wednesday, September 21st is devoted specifically to keeping children on farms, ranches and in rural areas safe and healthy. Strive to leave our children with “A Legacy to be Proud of!” by ensuring safety is a priority each and every day of the year.
Lead the crusade to bring safety and health information to your community by hosting a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®. Visit www.progressiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529 for more information or to apply. Focus on safety and health-related issues appropriate for your community. Annually, more than 400 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® are conducted throughout North America.
Photos: Participants at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in Minnesota learn how to assemble a first aid kit. More than 40% of Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® in North America offer a lesson on first aid each year.