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Teach Children Farm Safety

Three tips offered to protect farming’s next generation.

Every day, 33 children are injured in agriculture-related incidents, and every three days a child dies in one, says University of Missouri (MU) Extension safety and health specialist Karen Funkenbusch.

“Protecting our future generation needs to be a top priority,” she says.

Funkenbusch urges farm families to talk about child safety on the farm and to follow these three tips to protect the next generation of farmers.

  1. 1. Use personal protective equipment to help prevent health issues in adulthood.
  2.     • Severe sunburns and sun exposure during childhood are often linked to skin cancer. Provide children with sunscreen and wide-brim hats when they are in the sun.
  3.     • Encourage children to use hearing protection when they are around the farm. Provide a positive example by wearing hearing protection yourself.
  4. 2. Children visiting the farm need protection, too.

    Children who are not used to the large equipment and animals on a farm need to be educated about farm safety at the beginning of a visit, Funkenbusch says.

  5.     • Nonfarm families may not understand safe practices regarding animals, chemicals and equipment.
  6.     • Establish and enforce rules for all visitors to ensure safety.
  7.     • Supervise children closely, especially those unfamiliar with farming.
  8.     • Make the play area more fun than the farmstead.
  9. 3. Putting safety first means safety always and for everyone.
  10.     • Teach children what to do in the event of a fire, severe weather and other emergencies. Show them how to dial 911 and write down the physical address of the farm in key areas.
  11.     • Be a role model for safety. Do not allow extra riders on all-terrain vehicles and tractors.
  12.     • Do not allow children to play in grain bins.
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Editor’s Note: Linda Geist is a writer for University of Missouri Extension.


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