Home / News / Focus on kids during National Farm Safety and Health Week

Focus on kids during National Farm Safety and Health Week

Agriculture.com Staff 09/13/2006 @ 1:42pm

The fall harvest season can be a very busy time for farmers working to get their crops out. And it can also be a very hazardous time for children.

National Farm Safety and Health Week, slated for Sept. 17-23, 2006, is a good time for farm families to address safety practices. This year's theme is "Prepare to Prevent."

Agriculture is considered one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S., with a work death rate that is eight times the national average, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Farm accidents claim about 200 to 300 children's lives and cause thousands of injuries annually, McNeill says. Nearly half of the deaths and injuries come from farm machinery.

Research also suggests farm accidents aren't random occurrences nor randomly distributed. Younger operators' families have more accidents, according to Brian McNeill, University of Minnesota Extension 4-H youth development educator. Farm families with higher debt-to-asset ratios, who are also younger, are at greatest risk.

"Pickup trucks, tractors, threshers, lawn mowers and all-terrain vehicles [ATVs] are powerful machines," McNeill says. "But these machines and all other types of farm equipment are not safe for kids to ride on or be around, even with an adult present. It's really easy to get thrown from a tractor, thresher, or riding mower."

Here are some more safety tips to remember around equipment:

  • Never ride in the back of a pickup truck or on the fender of a tractor.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding an ATV.
  • Don't use electric power tools without adult supervision and protective equipment such as gloves and goggles.

Even when taking precautions, accidents can still happen. Responding quickly is the key. When living or working on farms, it's important for family members know everyone's whereabouts and when they are due to return, McNeill says.

It's also a good idea to know how to get help in the event of an emergency by calling 911, the local emergency number or the poison control center, if necessary. When calling 911, be prepared to state exactly where you are and what the problem is, McNeill advises. And remember to stay on the line until the operator says it's OK to hang up, he adds.

National Farm Safety and Health Week, according to NSC, is an annual promotion from the National Safety Council commemorating the hard work, diligence and sacrifices of our nation's farmers and ranchers. The 2006 event marks the 63rd consecutive signing of a proclamation by a U.S. President, beginning with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944.

The fall harvest season can be a very busy time for farmers working to get their crops out. And it can also be a very hazardous time for children.

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
Questions Surrounding Data Concern