Farm Injury Prevention for Children
In the United States, more than 1 million children live on farms. Unfortunately, over 100,000 of these children are injured with 22,000 hurt badly enough to need emergency treatment. Farm injuries are most common among preschoolers and young teens. It is impossible to prevent every injury, but these tips could help parents protect kids on the farm.
Children under 5
It is important to show children the fun of living on a farm, but it should not be done in a hazardous way. Make sure to constantly supervise young children. Construct physical barriers to prevent wandering into dangerous areas of the farm. Adults should be close enough to grab a child if they attempt to touch something sharp or unsafe.
Kids this young have short attention spans and cannot evaluate dangerous situations. Strict rules should be enforced, and adults should check on them every 15 minutes. Children at this age level can perform simple tasks like feeding pets, helping in the garden and caring for some livestock. However, still remove hazards and teach safety with repeated demonstration.
Teenagers are one of the highest groups of children at risk on a farm. Over 100 die in agricultural-related incidents each year. This is because they are allowed to legally use any farming equipment. This includes tractors, which are responsible for the most farming injuries. When a tractor rolls over, the chance of injury and even death is very high. New tractors must have rollover protective structures (ROPS). ROPS provides a protective space to prevent the tractor from crushing a worker. However, the seatbelt must be worn. Without it, a farm worker can easily fall out of the seat and be crushed by the tractor or ROPS.
Besides equipment dangers, falls are the most common injury to children. Parents can lower the risk of falling by not allowing children to play unsupervised in barns while keeping ladders secured and locked. Fortunately, if an injury does occur, assistance is available to cover medical bills, lost income, physical suffering and even emotional distress. Contact us today to learn more.