Make the play area more fun than the farmstead. Designate safe play areas for children! Children deserve a safe place to play where they can create lasting, fond memories. While the farm can help foster a child's passion and love of agriculture, it is a busy, active workplace. Large equipment and livestock, coupled with a child's curiosity, can lead to a tragic incident.
According to the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, a safe play area is carefully and thoroughly planned in a designated location with limited exposure to hazards such as traffic, agricultural production and environmental concerns. Sadly, the most recent statistics reveal that every three days in the United States, a child dies due to an agriculture-related incident. And, every day, 33 children are injured due to an agriculture-related incident. Sixty percent of youth were not working when they were injured in agriculture.
Correct messaging is important to ensure the safety of children. Avoid confusing children by replacing sandboxes with corn. A young child will have trouble understanding and identifying the difference between grain in a corn box and grain in a gravity flow wagon. In addition to sending the wrong message, other hazards include choking, allergies, crowding and, as a food source, can attract animals and pests, which can cause illness because of germs from feces. Also, although creative, farm-themed play sets that encourage climbing and playing on equipment resembling the likeness of tractors, silos and harvesters can send unsafe messages to children.
"In a follow-up survey given after our Progressive Agriculture Safety Day, many participants said they no longer climb or play on equipment on the farm or furniture around the house." -Tasha Harris, Progressive Agriculture Safety Day Coordinator in Buckhannon,
> FIND US ONLINE: Visit progressiveag.org or call us at 888-257-3529 for a complete list of all upcoming Safety Days or to see how you can host a Safety Day during 2022 or 2023.
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