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Children's Farm Safety Day focuses on next generation of farmers

'If we can teach children safety tips, hopefully it will stay with them for life'
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Wellington County Farm & Home Safety Association is hosting a Children’s Farm and Home Safety Day on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Husky Farm Equipment in Alma.

The event will run from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., rain or shine. Please dress for the weather.

“We are focusing on creating safety awareness with school-age children – this is a free event for kids ages 6 to 13,” said Walter Grose, Wellington Farm Safety board member.

“Parents are encouraged to attend with their children – there is no cost to attend.”

Local businesses are sponsoring the event and volunteering their time, equipment and facilities.

Complimentary lunch will be served and each student attending will receive a goodie bag after completion of the farm safety day.

Children will be divided into small groups and tour each of the stations throughout the morning.

Stations include Bike Safety, First Aid Safety, Fire Department, Farm Shop Safety, Lawnmower Safety, Chemical Lookalike, Tractor and Skid Steer Safety. 

“There will be demonstrations set up by the Fire Department and OPP,” said Grose. “The fire house will be present and students can tour the fire safety house and learn about the importance of a planned escape route. The Mapleton Fire Department will be bringing their fire house – students will have an opportunity to walk through a mock fire and smoke filled house."

“The Ontario Provincial Police will talk about bicycle safety, and review safe handling of ATV and snowmobiles,” Grose added. “Farm Safety is often asked, at what age should children drive tractors on the road? The OPP will discuss that as well."

“If we can protect children from serious injury or death by taking the time to demonstrate the dangers of a PTO shaft or blades on lawnmowers and maybe save them from any dangerous encounter - it is time well spent,” said Grose, secretary of Wellington Farm Safety Association.  “We’re trying to protect our farmers of the future and create an awareness for kids who visit farms.”

“People wonder why we bother to host a farm safety day each year, but we have a committed group of volunteers who feel strongly about educating children about farm safety. Farm kids are exposed to a lot of things at a young age,” said Sharon  Grose, Farm Safety Day volunteer.

“We only hear about the accidents that happened but we don’t hear about the accidents we have prevented by talking to students. Farm accidents happen in just a matter of seconds. Those close calls serve as a wakeup call and I know how important it is to get the message out to others, especially young children so they don't have those close calls.”

“Farm children live where their family works,  and oftentimes they don’t see or are not aware of the many hazards of their daily surroundings,” Sharon added. “We want to try and make children aware of the dangers and hazards found on the farm. Often children will pay more attention if someone other than their parents reminds them of the dangers. Farm families live where they work, we want them to be safe.”

It is important to get information out to kids when they are just starting to work on the farm, before they get drawn into bad habits, organizers added. “If we can teach children safety tips, hopefully it will stay with them for life.”

Husky Farm Equipment is at 7440 Wellington Road 17 in Alma.