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Growing up on the farm

It was once a common sight to see kids piled up on the tractor even under working conditions. Today, safety needs to take precedence over family togetherness.

What better place to grow up than on a farm. The open fields, the pastures and ponds, large barns with haylofts, tractors and all those animals!

It may sound wonderful, however a farm can also be a very dangerous place for children, since their home and play area also happen to be a work site which exposes them to machinery, livestock, chemicals and many other hazards.

It's important for parents to let their children know at an early age which areas are off limits. Play areas for young children should be fenced-off, as should possible drowning hazards and animal enclosures. Also make sure that young children are supervised by a responsible adult at all times.

Teach children never to play near a working tractor, as they risk falling off and being run over, nor to ride on a tractor while someone else is driving, as they can be thrown off in case of a rollover. Did you know that tractor rollover incidents are one of the deadliest types of injuries on a farm? While some tractors offer rollover protection structures (ROPS) and seat belts to keep the operator from being thrown, most do not provide extra space for a passenger or offer any protection. It's often difficult for children to view livestock as dangerous, yet each year numerous injuries and fatalities are reported. Small children can be accidentally knocked-down and trampled since animals may become unpredictable if they feel threatened or have offspring nearby. Children should be taught that animals can be dangerous and should be treated with respect.

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