With open space to run, buildings to explore and adventure to be had, what’s not to love about spending time on the farm or ranch? While a farm or ranch can be a great place for kids to burn off energy and learn new skills, it’s important to practice safety precautions and educate them to keep everyone safe. Implementing the right farm and ranch safety rules can help teach them how to safely build skills they’ll use for years to come. If you plan to have children out and about on your farm or ranch, keep these 7 safety tips in mind.
7 Farm and Ranch Safety Tips for Kids
1. Utilize Online Educational Safety Resources
Kids love to learn and teaching them about safe practices while on the farm or ranch provides them with vital skills and knowledge. Online resources are available to help talk with kids about an array of safe practices like tractor, animal, grain and ATV safety. Explore online and see what other resources like interactive farm safety games are available to help teach your kids (while making it a bit more fun).
2. Store Chemicals Out of Reach
Keep chemicals and other hazardous materials out of sight and if possible locked in storage. Talk with children about not opening or playing around chemicals. In addition to storing chemicals in a safe place, helping kids to understand why chemicals can be dangerous if not handled properly is key. At a young age, it’s important to teach them to never ingest anything they don’t have permission to eat or drink.
3. Set Boundaries within Your Farm or Ranch
For young children, supervision is important at all times but for older age children they may have more freedom to explore. While you may have acres upon acres and woods for exploring, discuss where it’s okay to roam and what areas are off limits (or out of bounds). Grain bins, silos and ponds/rivers are areas that may present more safety risks on your farm or ranch.
4. Identify and Discuss Possible Safety Hazards
Keeping livestock on your property is important on farms and ranches. If you have barbed wire or electric fencing on your farm or ranch, be sure to talk with your kids about staying away so they don’t inadvertently get hurt.
To a kid, grain bins and grain carts may look like fun places to play. But, if they’re full of grain, they can quickly become hazardous. Grain can act like quicksand. Entrapments can happen quickly. Don’t let kids play in or around grain bins or carts. Be sure to talk with children about the dangers of playing in grain bins and on carts.
Store tools and ladders away to prevent injuries on the farm. Even common tools like rakes and shovels can be dangerous if they aren’t kept in a safe place.
5. Talk About Safe Farm Machinery Practices
There’s probably nothing more exciting to a kid then getting to ride in a tractor or a combine. These large pieces of farm machinery are impressive to people of all ages — especially kids. But they can quickly become farm hazards. Be sure to lock equipment like tractors, trucks, combines, etc., when they aren’t in use. Keep the keys in a safe place that’s out of reach from small hands.
It’s also important to teach kids to stay back when large farm equipment is in operation. Teach them to make eye contact with the driver to be sure they aren’t in blind spots.
6. Teach Farm Emergency Preparedness
From discussing farm emergency plans for tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, etc., to showing how to use fire extinguishers, emergency preparedness is a topic that can be taught to all ages.
7. Handle Animals Safely
Livestock can be unpredictable. Be sure to always supervise young children when they’re around livestock. Teach them how to safely interact with livestock.
Encourage Safety for All Ages
Promoting farm and ranch safety habits is important for everyone’s well-being. Making safety a top priority is key. Talk regularly with your children about safe practices on your farm or ranch. A local Farm Bureau agent can help to ensure your operation has the protection it needs. Reach out today.