By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
According to the National Safety Council, thousands of children are injured and hundreds are killed annually due to farming-related hazards. West Virginia farmers deal with two different circumstances in which children are injured on the farm. John Miller, a West Virginia University Ohio County Extension Agent said the first issue involved children who grow up and work on the farm, and the second pertained to children who visit the farm. Regardless of the circumstance, all children should be educated about the possible dangers on a farm.
Miller suggested that children who work on a farm be given age-appropriate tasks. In addition, children should always be supervised. He said, “You don’t turn a kid loose with a big tractor and send him up on a hillside- that’s just a recipe for disaster.” Every farmer should also have a safety plan for the kids.
Miller said children who visit a farm should remember that it is a place of business. First, children should know that animals can be dangerous. For example, people would often look at a cow with its baby calf and think it is cute, but “people need to remember that it is being a protective mother,” said Miller. He added, “There is no more dangerous time with a cow than when she has a baby calf- they will attack you.” Second, children should not play or climb on equipment because there are many falling and poking hazards. Lastly, people need to be aware of everybody’s location at any given time because when people stop paying attention, farming can become dangerous.
The National Safety Council Agricultural Division provided the following child safety tips for children on the farm:
– Do not allow children to go unsupervised on the farm
– Check your farm regularly for hazards that could hurt children
– Children who work on the farm should be given age appropriate tasks
– Furnish all storage areas and livestock pens with secured latches
– Always turn off equipment completely and remove all keys
– Never carry children on tractors or equipment
For more information on this topic, see farming season can pose risk to children.