The key for a parent is to recognize when a task is too advanced for their child. Sadly, many children on the farm are hurt each year by doing something that is beyond their ability. Although parents cannot completely child-proof a farm or ranch, they need to make it as safe as possible.
A few precautions will help keep your kids safe and give you a little peace of mind.
• Find out what the developmental characteristics of children are at specific ages. Pair that with your impression of maturity level and ability to determine a child’s readiness for a task.
• Identify the dangerous areas on your farm or ranch. Using your child’s characteristics and common sense, determine where kids are most likely to get hurt.
• Set up appropriate rules for children to follow and be consistent in enforcing them.
• Teach kids how to safety handle each job and make sure they have the necessary protective equipment.
• Supervision is key. Watch them do their chores until they can demonstrate safe practices repeatedly.
Kids love to help. It’s how they learn, experience, and appreciate life on the farm. Taking steps to make sure they’re tackling appropriate chores will keep them safe.
For more information on farm safety, visit www.fs4jk.org
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids