By: RACHEL OEHLKE. Communications Specialist in SAFETY TIPS
For students across the country, distance learning has become the new normal. And for parents on farms and ranches, that means kids are spending increased time around farm equipment, animals and potentially hazardous materials. As planting season approaches, this added responsibility of children at home means farm safety is more important than ever.
According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the nation. Every day, NEARLY 33 CHILDREN are injured in an agriculture-related incident. That’s why it’s so important for the whole family to make a commitment to farm safety. To get you started, here are some of the web’s best resources for keeping children safe on the farm during these unprecedented times.
Safe play areas
Cultivate Safety has developed GUIDES for creating “safe play areas” on farms that are away from dangerous equipment and activities. These safe play areas limit exposure to machinery traffic, agricultural production and environmental concerns while still enabling children to be outside.
Kid-focused educational resources
For the past 25 years, Progressive Agriculture has offered SAFETY DAYS, events held in partnership with schools that teach children lessons to keep them safe and healthy. While the events themselves are currently on-hold, their website offers a library of EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES for staying safe on the farm, including lessons on grain safety, ATV safety propane safety and more.
Interactive tools and child development resources
Cultivate Safety’s website offers a variety of INTERACTIVE TOOLS, VIDEOS AND RESOURCES to help parents. Their CHILD DEVELOPMENT CHART is especially helpful with its breakdown of safety strategies for every age level.
The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers has a YOUTUBE channel with videos about pesticide, grain and machinery safety. These short, informative videos feature personal stories, case studies and tips. For anyone who spends time on a farm, these are worth watching.
For more information, visit the NATIONAL COMMITTEE FOR CHILDHOOD AGRICULTURAL INJURY PREVENTION.