Children and youth living in agricultural environments are at risk of serious injury or death, especially when school breaks for the summer and more children are on or around agricultural worksites.
AgSafe, British Columbia’s agricultural workplace health and safety association promotes the importance of child safety education as part of their safety initiatives. The organization recently held a one-day Progressive Agriculture Safety Day for 140 grade four and five students at Sardis Elementary School in Chilliwack, a community in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley region.
Progressive Agriculture Safety Days is an international program providing education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer for children and their communities.
Sardis Elementary School students learn how to be safe during AgSafeBC’s Progressive Agriculture Safety Day held June 14th in Chilliwack, BC.
In 2012 Canada’s farm population included between 30 and 50 thousand children under the age of 19. Between 2003 and 2012 in Canada, 843 children died as a result of agriculture-related incidents, and 570 (68%) of those incidents occurred from May to October.
The highest rate of injuries involves children younger than 10-years old who were playing in the worksite.
The majority of children killed in work-related injury events between 2003 and 2012 were bystanders struck or run over by a tractor, off-road vehicle, motor vehicle, a wagon or trailer.
Drownings, machine rollovers, animal-related incidents, or being caught or struck by objects are also common.
What parents can do to keep children safe:
- Create safe play areas away from the worksite using physical and passive barriers.
- Enforce family and workplace safety rules.
- Role model safe behaviour around machinery and large animals.
- Provide proper task and safety training for older children working on the farm, and supervise them while they are engaged in the task.
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