Farm Safe - Me

  • Bair, Sallie S.

Data from the National Safety Council estimates that each year at least 5,000 children are seriously injured on farms. In addition, their figures indicate that approximately 300 children are killed each year in farm accidents. A Cornell University study shows that children on farms under 14 years of age were three times more likely to be injured when compared to others working on the farm. Wayne County is largely a rural farming community where a very high percentage of children and youth either live on farms or visit farms of relatives or friends. Young children often identify the farm as a "fun place" without identifying the dangers that exist, thus making them vulnerable to death and injury from farm accidents. Preliminary data from an on-going study conducted in Wayne and Holmes Counties shows that June, 1992, to June, 1993, 19 children between the ages of 0-9 years and 27 children between the ages of 10-19 years of age were involved in farm-related accidents serious enough to send them to an emergency room. The study has recorded the death of one 5-year-old child during this time period. Children's attitudes and behaviors are changeable and education can make a significant impact on prevention of unintentional injury.

The Farm Safe Me curriculum has been developed to reach children and their families with experiences in farm hazard recognition and safety. The three-part program targeting pre-school and early elementary age children and their families increases hazard awareness, and introduces and reinforces farm safety habits. A parent component is included within the program with take home parent/child activities with each 30-minute section.

Farm Safe Me has been marketed in rural Wayne County Elementary Schools and has been very well received. To date, the program has been presented in ten classrooms with nearly 700 students contacts. The program has very positive feedback from parents and teachers. It is apparent that Farm Safe Me is reaching rural and farm families with lifesaving information and aiding them in developing a sense of responsibility for the safety of themselves and others on the farm.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The author noted above is from: Wayne County Health Department, Wooster, OH.

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