By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
As we reflect during this season of thanksgiving, we can all agree the greatest, most precious gift of all is that of life. Therefore, we need to ensure we value and treat that life the same way we do that shiny new toy or object. Proper care is important with any special gift, in the same way we need to also value our safety and health, as it is essential in maintaining our battery life. Sadly, this does not always get the full attention it deserves; however, during gift giving we can help bring this to the forefront.
Frugal Fred is a hard worker, who continuously puts the needs of others before his own and is still using a 30-year-old ladder, that even a squirrel would deem unsafe to climb on. Fred works hard to make his equipment last and may have had all intentions to replace the ladder; however, lack of time, financials, or another factor prevented this from happening. With the holidays approaching, possibly the best gift Fred could receive this year is a new ladder, as this would help make his daily activities not only easier, but ultimately safer. Fred can be anyone, a father, grandfather, uncle, or even a friend, that could be faced with an unsafe or unhealthy situation daily and not eager to seek help, but appreciative of the gesture.
After asking for a few years, you might be ready to honor Action Adam’s request for an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) or UTV (utility terrain vehicle). Adam has been proving he is responsible, and this equipment will help him with his various chores around the ranch. However, before you hand over the keys, enroll Adam in a safety training program. Therefore, he is starting out with a safety focus and learning what do from the start. Also, don’t forget to add other important Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like a properly fitted helmet, over the ankle boots, eye protection, and even protective clothing.
That brings us to Brave Betty! Little Betty has been working so hard to master riding her bicycle without training wheels. Now all she is wanting is a brand-new bicycle as a gift. Before we upgrade to a big-girl bike, her helmet may need an upgrade as well. Also, don’t forget adding reflectors for riding in the evening or a water bottle to stay hydrated on hot, summer days.
When giving a gift to a family this holiday season, consider practicality. Reusable face and hand sanitizer masks to help combat the spread of the Coronavirus makes great stocking stuffers. Items like smoke alarms and fire extinguishers may be scarce in a family’s home or farm. Families neglect to purchase these items on their own due to expense or failing to realize the item’s importance. For new parents, there are great gifts out there to help baby-proof the home. Little ones in our life are always anxiously awaiting their chance to open up the freshly wrapped package.
Whether big or small, toys are always a favorite among many children; however, placing extra thought into toy safety should always be a priority during purchase. Here are some important safety tips:
Always read the directions that come with a toy together as a family, so everyone is on the same page and knows the necessary precautions. Even age-appropriate toys, such as sewing, baking or science kits, often require adult supervision.
Teach older children to role model safe toy behavior by always keeping tiny toys out of reach for younger children. Use extreme caution with toys containing magnets, button batteries, balloons, or toys with small parts.
Be aware of your surroundings when playing with toys that fly. Assure you do not injure an unsuspecting person or destroy another’s property while at play.
In closing, don’t forget to give the gift of your time. Stay connected and be present by providing a listening ear this holiday season, as it may be the greatest gift you can give someone.
This safety message was brought to you by the Progressive Agriculture Safety Days. This program teaches children in rural communities about potential hazards around the farm, ranch, or at home to help them adopt new, safe practices. For more information on safety or for details about hosting, donating or volunteering at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, visit www.progressiveag.orgor call us toll-free at 888-257-3529. Tuesday, December 1st kicks off the season of giving. Continue to give the gift of safety with a donation to help send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in 2021. Donate in honor of or in memory of a love one. Text the word “SAFETYDAY” to 44321 or visit progressiveag.org/Donate.
Photo: Before these kiddos hit the trail and go, they always wear the appropriate safety gear from head to toe. Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is proud to partner with Polaris, the global leader in power-sports, to spotlight off-road vehicle safety. In 2020, a youth-sized Polaris Ranger UTV, along with all the appropriate PPE, was donated to help the program provide hands-on educate children and families on ATV/UTV Safety.