Hot on the heels of a Purdue study finding that grain entrapments are at the highest levels since 2010, the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network is urging farmers to consider another area of concern on the farm – keeping small children away from tractors.
The group sent a reminder of its ongoing safety campaign after a May 3 accident left a 56-year-old man and his 7-year-old grandson dead following a tractor overturn on a western New York farm. The Childhood Agricultural Safety Networks’ national campaign is titled “Keep Kids Away From Tractors” and states that it is never okay for a child younger than 12 years old to be on a tractor. CASN also says children should have to pass tractor safety educational classes and never be an extra rider on farm equipment.
CASN admits this approach has upset some parents and farm owners. Riding a tractor with parents or grandparents is a childhood tradition and invokes strong, fond memories for many farm families.
Closed-cab vehicles are no guarantee of safety either, according to CASN. Closed cab doors can pop open when the tractor hits a rut or rock, or when a child reaches out to steady himself or herself and inadvertently hits the door handle.
CASN is a coalition of more than 50 health, safety and youth organizations who advocate for child safety on the farm. More information on the group is available at www.childagsafety.org.