Farm Safety Effects Us All

Living on or visiting a ranch/farm is an exciting and educational experience for our children and it is also a very special way of life for many of us in Richland County. Knowing the dangers and how to prevent accidents will ensure generations of new ranchers and farmers in our community.

Children who live on ranches & farms need protection from the many elements that pose a risk of injury. These children live and play in a setting that often includes heavy equipment, specialized implements, large animals, grain elevators, chemicals and water areas. In addition, farming parents can frequently find themselves balancing the ongoing and unpredictable demands of ranch & farm work with the important task of supervising and caring for children.

Simple approaches such as keeping young children away from farm worksites, fencing off water holes and other hazardous areas, properly storing dangerous equipment, tools and chemicals can prevent unintentional accidents and deaths. Providing a safe, fenced play area for younger children can substantially reduce the risk of injury. Inform young children of the differences and dangers of real equipment vs. toys.

Tractors are particularly dangerous, and are responsible for many of the deaths and injuries to children on ranches & farms. This includes tractor run-overs (e.g. child was a bystander), extra-rider run-overs (e.g. child was a passenger on the tractor, fell off and was run over), machinery entanglement and falls. Make sure you know who is around when moving equipment; and they know your intentions.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) have become a big part of many ranches & farms. They can also be fun to drive, and naturally children are eager to try them out. This can be a great opportunity for parents to model safe behavior and explain that just like driving cars ATVs need adult skills and knowledge. Implement safety guidelines and make sure they are followed to prevent unintentional injuries or deaths. Like other equipment on the ranch/farm, experts agree that children younger than 16 years of age do not have the physical development or cognitive ability to safely operate these machines.

For more information call Richland County Health Department and speak with Mary Friesz, Injury Prevention Specialist 433-2207. Richland County Injury Prevention Team, helping keep our community safe and healthy.


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