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Category:  Press » Agriculture

 

Pennsylvania Ag Secretary Shares Top Ten Farm Safety Tips for Kids

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2006-06-07 03:11:43     
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Life on the farm can pose many risks to children. So, with summer approaching, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff is offering tips to help parents and farmers enjoy an injury-free season.

"Summer can be the most dangerous season for our farm kids and their non- farm friends," Wolff said. "Unfortunately, there have already been several tragic farm accidents that could have been prevented. We must make every attempt to protect our children from farm dangers."

Children under the age of 14 are the most susceptible to injury and death on the farm. They face the same hazards as adults but are unable to understand those hazards. Adults must be aware of children's limitations and attempt to keep the farm as safe as possible for them, particularly around farm machinery, which causes the most youth fatalities.

"This is also an issue for children when their parents visit a farm to buy fresh produce or milk," Wolff said. "We are pleased that Pennsylvania consumers are choosing to buy directly from our producers and are teaching their families about where food comes from, but we still must ensure their safety."

Wolff offers the following ten tips to guard children from potential disasters:

* No seat, no rider. Do not allow children to be extra riders on farm

equipment, even if they are helping with chores;

* Keep small children from playing on, in or under machinery or

equipment. Provide an alternate safe-play area;

* Know where children are before starting machinery and farm vehicles;

* Train and closely supervise youth who will be operating farm machinery

and equipment;

* Keep ladders out of reach;

* Keep small children away from large animals, particularly animals that

have recently given birth;

* Do not let children under age 12 operate an all-terrain vehicle;

* Keep children from playing on, or in, silos and grain bins or wagons;

* Do not leave children unsupervised around farm ponds or manure pits,

and;

* Hold monthly family farm safety review sessions.

Pennsylvania provides grants and tuition assistance to keep farmers farming. The state also performs farm safety demonstrations and participates in a variety of outreach efforts and educational exhibits. Secretary Wolff is the chairman of the Farm Safety and Occupational Health Act advisory board.

For more farm safety tips or more information about the department's farm safety programs, contact Phil Pitzer at 717-772-5206, or visit http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us and click on 'Producers.'

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