The farm is a great place to raise kids, but it’s also dangerous. About one-third of all farm accidents involve children.
Prevent your child from becoming a statistic:
- Make sure they understand on-farm hazards.
- Only give them age-appropriate tasks.
- And make sure they are supervised.
Warn children about on-farm hazards
- Many of the everyday hazards on the farm are not always obvious.
- Talk to children about what makes certain areas of the farm dangerous, and ask them what they think they can do to keep themselves safe.
- Important areas to cover include machinery, livestock, grain bins, silos and chemicals.
Give children age-appropriate tasks
Kids tend to be very eager helpers on the farm. Although they may want to help with everything, consider the age-appropriateness of certain tasks. Some tasks like helping feed livestock, cleaning out pens and operating machinery will not be appropriate for every child.
Think about age, development and body size when considering which tasks to assign. A great resource for determining age appropriateness is the Agricultural Youth Work Guidelines from the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.
Supervise children while playing or working on the farm
Lastly, supervision is critical to keeping kids safe on the farm, whether they are working or not. Over half of child injuries on farms happen to children who are not working, but are simply in the vicinity of dangerous activities.
Keeping a watchful eye on any kids around the farm is crucial in ensuring their safety.
Reviewed in 2021