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Students learn it’s best to be safe

ELC students take part in farm safety instruction

September 30, 2018
Jennifer Astello - Correspondent , Estherville News

Fourth-graders from Estherville Lincoln Central spent half the day on Friday at the Emmet County Fairgrounds learning about safety, with a large focus on safety on the farm.

Farm safety should be taken seriously, as farming was and still is one of the most dangerous occupations in America. In 1988 The New York Times published an article titled," Farms, Deadliest Workplace, Taking the Lives of Children." The article cited statistics, including 1,600 adults were killed that year, crushed by tractor roll-over, caught in farm equipment and a notable list of other deaths caused by farm equipment.

In 1988, 160,000 farm people became disabled from farm equipment. Three hundred children under the age of 16 died in farm-related mishaps and 23,000 children were injured by using or playing by farm equipment. (The New York Times, Isabel Wilkerson, September 26, 1988)

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Although modern technology has helped reduce these risks, farm equipment is still very dangerous.

On Friday, volunteers educated fourth graders about farm safety and all the equipment that comes with it; including grain bin safety, large equipment, livestock animals, first aid, water, electrical, lawnmower, ATV and snowblowers.

Volunteers took the time to bring real equipment out to display hands on.

"Chris Thiel and I are teaching tractor safety, equipment safety and PTO (power take-off) and blind spots, how to climb on, how to walk around, how to be careful around moving parts of equipment and what to wear when they are visiting on a farm for clothing," said Greg Deim.

The kids moved from station to station learning something different at each stop.

One station had a boat and several types of life jackets, Emmet County Conservation Director Eric Anderson talked to the kids about boat safety and the importance of life jackets. He explained the different types of life jackets and why it is important to choose one according to your weight.

The National Children's Center for Rural and Agriculture Health and Safety reported in 2017, each day 33 children are injured and every three days a child dies in an agriculture-related incident.

Reports show that 25 percent of fatalities are machinery related, 17 percent by motor vehicles/ATV's and drowning 16 percent.

It is well known that the small towns of Iowa thrive off local farms. Making youth aware of potential dangers can help them think before they act.



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