Chemical Safety: More Than Just Pesticides!

The following post about chemical safety on the farm was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids.

Chemical Look-Alike Challege

Is it a chemical or is it edible? Some chemicals can look very similar to beverages and food. Motor oil and pancake syrup. Gasoline and apple juice. Windex and sports drinks.

Ask a child about farm chemicals and their first response will probably refer to what’s applied to crops, such as pesticides or insecticides; but it’s so much more than that. Gas, diesel fuel, anti-freeze, motor oil, and coolant required for farm equipment are considered chemicals too, just like household products like bleach, bug spray, and toilet bowl cleaner. Kids are exposed to those dangers beyond the farm as well, making it even more important for them to realize the danger.

Teach your kids to recognize these terms:

CAUTION – (yellow) could result inn minor or moderate injury if hazard is not avoided.

WARNING – (orange) could cause serious injury or death if hazard is not avoided.

DANGER – (red) a high probability of serious injury or death if hazard is not avoided.

A few tips to prevent chemical exposure:

  • Store chemicals in their original container in a locked area
  • Be a good role model – wear personal protective equipment
  • Dispose of chemicals and their containers properly
  • Keep kids and toys away when applying chemicals
  • Wash clothes worn while applying chemicals separately
  • Close all containers and put out of reach of children.

Take five seconds and add the following number to your cell phone contacts list if you are in the United States. If you are in other parts of the world, we encourage you to find and store your local equivalent:

Poison Control 1-800-222-1222

Farm Safety 4 Just Kids recently released a new chemical safety education packet available in both English and Spanish. For more information, visit or call 1-800-423-5437.

Do your children know the dangers of chemicals on your farm?

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