Farm Safety for Just Kids (FS4JK) is an international non-profit serving millions of rural youth and their families each year. It was started by an Iowa farm wife after her 11-year-old son died in a gravity flow grain wagon in 1986, in the hopes of preventing another tragedy. For over 25 years, the organization has grown international with the same goals of promoting a safe environment through education.
While these goals are focused towards kids, they are great reminders for all of us who are around equipment – especially tractors this time of year.
Tractors hold potential hazards not only to the driver, but to those in close proximity. These are just a few of the precautions promoted by FS4JK about taking care around tractors. Download all of the educational content here.
- Extra riders on tractors should always be considered a risk. Understand the health hazards to extra riders, as well as for the tractor operator.
- Take precautions such as cleaning steps, and wearing non-slip shoes to prevent falls from tractors.
- When driving a tractor, be alert for the sake of those close by.
- When you are close to a moving tractor, notify the tractor driver of your presence when nearby. The driver may not be able to see you.
- Understand tractor features that impact safety.
- When working with tractor implements, understand why implements can be hazardous to both the operator and any bystander.
The main objective of educating children, especially young ones, about tractor safety is to teach them to stay away from tractors. Tractors hold potential hazards not only to the driver, but to those in close proximity. As children grow and develop, they begin to understand abstract concepts. Rules for very young children are black and white, while rules for older children, who are beginning to understand more are based on comprehension and complexity of the hazard. This allows them to begin to connect the concept of hazardous mechanisms, resulting hazards, and possible injuries. If children understand these hazards, they are more likely to follow the rules that are intended to keep them safe. The lesson plans included in this educational packet have a suggested age for each activity. Many of the activities can be adapted to other age groups by simplifying or adding more details.
Happy planting and stay safe!!