KINTORE — About 140 elementary students got a crash course in farm safety — they practiced CPR on a mannequin and used fire extinguishers to put out real flames — at the third annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on June 12 at AJ Baker Public School in Oxford County.
“They let us touch some of the equipment,” said Lucas, a Grade 4 student. “They taught us everything you need to know about safety with tractors, ATVs, lawnmowers and roads.”
Said Andrew, also in Grade 4: “I learned that a lawnmower has already gone around 40 times before you can even pull your hand away from the blades. Never go near the blades of a lawnmower.”
Safety skills among children can be lifesaving. According to a 2013 report from Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR), an average of 13 children die each year as a result of agricultural related incidents across the country. When there’s work to be done on the farm and equipment is rolling, it can be easy to lose track of young children who may be playing nearby. As a result, CAIR reports that 80 % of agricultural fatalities involving children includes a victim who was not performing farm tasks, killed by someone who was engaged in agricultural work —72 % of those victims are children of the farm operator.
If you would like to bring a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day to your community, visit progressiveag.org. Applications are due by July 15 each year for a safety day to be conducted the following year.