Children are naturally curious, especially younger children. And there are a lot of things to be curious about on the farm! But that curiosity can unknowingly lead them into dangerous places. A safe play area is a great way to ensure the safety of kids on the farm. Here are a few tips to help you establish a safe play area.
• Separated from traffic and work areas.
• Easily identifiable boundaries. Fences are ideal.
• An area easily supervised, such as looking out a back window.
• Free from dangerous debris.
• Plenty of room to run and explore.
• Safe and age-appropriate play equipment.
If you can’t fence the play area, use landmarks: a tree, a bush, a pole, a driveway. Walk the boundary with your children. Explain the boundary is important because it keeps them safe, and go over any consequences of breaking the boundary rule. Keep in mind the boundary is only the first line of defense. Supervision is critical, and not just for play areas without a fence.
Give children reasons to stay in the identified play area. Provide appropriate play items, such as swings, a sand box, or playhouse, which make the play area appealing to children. If the farmstead is more enticing than the designated play area, your efforts may not be effective.
A safe outdoor play area away from livestock, traffic and machinery is essential for children to grow up safe and healthy on a farm or ranch. Let’s keep our next generation of rural children safe!
For more information on farm safety, or to learn how to start a chapter, visitwww.fs4jk.org.
*This post was submitted by Tracy Schlater from Farm Safety 4 Just Kids