Rural Mom is please to welcome guest Jennifer Taylor of Mom Tricks who is sharing her best tips for farm safety this summer. With the kids home full time right now, it’s a great time to for a refresher on simple steps for farm safety!
My name is Jennifer, and I blog over at MomTricks. I grew up on a farm, and while they are, what I think, the best place to grow up, they are also full of dangers.
It’s a lot of fun to explore and play around the farm, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong, and accidents can happen very quickly when you’re not careful.
Not only that, but tractors are fun to ride on, and various chemicals can seem like fun, but are obviously not something kids should be playing with.
Because summer is here, I thought it would be a perfect time to write about summer safety on the farm. Here are my 5 biggest tips for keeping safe out in the country this summer!
1. Be Careful Around Tractors & Machinery
The various tractors, equipment and machinery around the farm is the most dangerous of all, and we have to be very careful around it.
If you or someone else is running a tractor, always make sure there is nothing and no one behind or in front of you when you start moving. Every year, fatal accidents happen because of people not knowing there was a child in the way of their moving tractor.
The same goes for other machinery, like riding lawnmowers. Watch out for delicate feet!
Things like augers for moving grain need to be watched out for, too. The spinning shafts can easily cause someone to get trapped up in them, especially if they have long hair or dangling clothing.
2. Keep Them Protected From The Sun
Sun protection is always important in the summer, but even more so when you’re out on the farm! There’s not much shade, and maybe it’s just me, but the sun seems more harsh out in the country.
Get a good, chemical-free, mineral-based sunblock, and slather them up from head to toe. Be sure to reapply every few hours to make sure they’re well-protected.
On top of that, it’s a really good idea to deck them out in long-sleeved clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, especially if they’re babies. Of course, that’s sometimes hard to do when the weather is hot, but it’s for the best.
On that note, keep them well-hydrated! Also, try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
3. Be Careful Around Livestock
Although most farm animals can seem cute and harmless, the fact is that they can cause a lot of damage to the unsuspecting child. An animal that feels confused or threatened can quickly become agitated and dangerous.
Always approach them slowly and quietly, and be extra careful of mothers with newborns, who can be in protective mode and very wary of people.
Even physically harmless animals can harbor diseases. Make them wash their hands thoroughly if they handle them, and even better, wear gloves.
4. Keep Chemicals Locked Up
Chemicals are another dangerous thing often found around the farm. From pesticides to chemical fertilizers, there are a lot of nasty, harmful things that the curious kid can get into.
The best thing to do is keep any harmful chemicals safely stored away so that it’s impossible for anyone to get into when they shouldn’t.
If possible, having them behind a lock and key is ideal. Accidents really do happen, and bottles of funny-looking liquids can be inticing to kids. I don’t think I need to explain how nasty chemicals are!
Warning labels are a good idea, too. They can do a lot to convey the message that the contents shouldn’t be played with.
5. Beware of Grain Storage Areas
If there are grain storage bins or boxes on the farm, they should be totally off-limits to kids. While they’re generally not dangerous when they’re not in use, a flowing grain box can quickly pull down and suffocate a person.
Also instill in your kids that if someone else becomes trapped in a grain bin, they should not try to help, because they’ll probably also get stuck. Instead, they should call for help.
For that matter, they should avoid storage areas of any kind. Places that might be safe for adults, such as those accessible only by ladders, can be an easy way to get injured.
These areas always seem like fun areas to explore for kids, but they should all be off-limits.
Summing It All Up
There’s no reason to be fearful that your kids will get hurt on the farm. All you really need to do is instill a few safety rules in them, and keep a watchful eye both on them and when you’re operating machinery.
As long as we all do our part, the farm can be a perfectly safe place to live!