Teach Your Children About Farm Safety
Tractor Safety: Keep on Track!
Tractors are essential on the farm, however they can be killers. Any machine can be dangerous if recommended operating procedures are ignored.
Tractors are a dangerous necessity on a farm. These activities will help teach students the dangers and proper uses of the tractor.
Conduct a "Safety Sleuth" contest where adolescents inspect farm machinery for dangers. Identify correct shielding and tractors with roll over protective structures (ROPS). Donated prizes, such as cameras, could be awarded to winners who suggest the most improvements or recognize t he most positives.
Conduct a demonstration to show potential dangers of the Power Take Off (PTO). Stuff old clothes with straw, paper or rags. Tie a pant leg with a 3-foot length of twine to an unshielded PTO. Have the kids stand behind barriers so they can watch without getting hurt. Hand out PTO brochures.
Demonstrate the speed and wrapping power of a PTO by taping a 7-foot length of string to a cardboard tube. Count the number of seconds it takes to wrap the string around the tube. Compare that time with the time it would take the PTO to wrap the same string - approximately one second.
Obtain or make a Drive Head Over Wheels demonstration. This tabletop display with toy tractors demonstrates the dynamics of driving a tractor safely. A script helps the instructor cover important topics.
Tommy's Troubles is a paper and pencil interactive story that helps youth learn about problem solving in relation to driving a tractor safely. The exercise was developed by the University of Kentucky and written to stimulate family discussion about safety on the farm.
Teach small children about the inability of tractor operators to see or hear by having children make tractor noises while on child is a pretend "driver". Simulate a tractor with cardboard wheels, steering wheel and a chair with a belt. Instruct the child to imagine driving defensively over make-believe rough terrain. Have one of the kids "sneak" around to the front of the back tire while someone else distracts the "driver". Emphasize that the "driver" should be focusing his attention on driving.
Identify the correct color of proper slow moving vehicle (SMV) sign by comparing a new SMV sign with one that is faded. At night, or in a darkened room, shine a light on the SMV sign to show the difference in color and illumination.
Distribute NO RIDERS decals at local implement dealers. Offer to supply and attach to new tractors bought at the dealership.
Collect 35-mm film containers. Develop a slogan such as "I want you to hear me say I Love You when you're old." Have kids decorate slogans and tape around container. Place donated ear plugs inside and attach a chain to the lid so they can be used with tractor keys.
Give NO RIDERS! tattoos to be placed on kids' faces, arms or hands. The tattoos will remind both the kids and their parents that it is dangerous to ride on machinery.
Distribute tractor/PTO safety folders to local youth groups (4-H, church, FFA) for use at school. Safety literature can be provided by implement dealers and safety organizations.