Kids are curious by nature and love to help with whatever you’re doing — even chores. Farm children have the unique position of being exposed to the world of outdoor maintenance and operating farm equipment. Allowing your kids to get their hands dirty on the farm is a great learning experience, but also requires safety precautions.
Safety Practices in Agriculture for Kids and Teens
Integrating your family into farm operations is a rite of passage and comes with the territory. Farm equipment safety tips are useful for both young children around the property and teenagers operating farm machinery. Putting these safety measures in place not only sets an example for your children but also could prevent serious accidents.
1. Age-Appropriate Training
As you show your kids around the farm, be mindful of what is appropriate for their age especially when it comes to equipment training and operating machinery. For example, children generally need to be age 14 before they can operate a tractor and child labor laws differ in each state.
2. Safely Operating ATVs and Farm Vehicles
Teaching your children that safety is a top priority not only for heavy machinery but also for smaller vehicles like ATVs, UTVs and RMVs can prevent vehicle injury and ensure passenger safety on your property.
3. Personal Protective Equipment
Children should be equipped with the proper protective equipment as well. This may include things like earplugs, safety goggles and protective clothing. In case of an accident, it’s best to make sure you have protective measures in place to prevent hearing loss, eye injuries and road rash.
4. Identifying Machinery Hazards
Knowing your machinery and how it works can also help prevent accidents. Before children are allowed to use heavy machinery on your property, educate them on how each piece works so they understand the safe way to use your devices. You may also consider safeguard devices to limit open access.
5. Preventing and Responding to Injury
Having preventative measures in place is the best way to combat injuries on the farm. However, accidents happen, and a quick reaction is key. It’s important to make sure that you always know the whereabouts of children on the farm so that you’re present should an accident occur. The first response should be to contact professional help like emergency medical services (EMS). Once you have made that call, make sure that you and the injured are not in any further danger. If necessary, you may need to provide care until EMS arrives.
Put Coverage in Place
Ag insurance can be complex and it’s even more important when you have a family to protect. Your local agent can walk you through the unique coverage needs of your operation to give you peace of mind that you’re better protected with Farm Bureau Financial Services.