‘It’s easier to bury a tradition than a child’

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One organization is keeping its latest campaign blunt and to the point – keep kids away from tractors.

The campaign, launched by the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network, uses a “tough love” approach to keep kids safe, and its message not only rattles traditional thinking but will also  likely upset parents and farm owners.

Taking children along in a tractor with parents or grandparents may be long considered part of growing up in rural America, but this childhood tradition puts kids at risk. The new campaign urges parents to not allow a child younger than 12 years to be on a tractor — with or without a parent.

“It’s easier to bury a tradition than a child,” a Childhood Agricultural Safety Network press release said.

Accidents can happen in a blink of an eye, such as what happened to a Kansas family harvest soybeans last year. A five-year-old girl was riding in the cab of a combine with her father when the combine hit a bump, causing the windshield to shatter and the child to fall out. Read more here.

Farm machinery causes 85 percent of all machinery-related deaths to children, making the need to balance experience with safety is essential. Learn more about the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network.



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Rebecca    
NY  |  April, 03, 2014 at 08:09 AM

As a farm accident survior and a dairy farmer myself I take extreme offence to this campaign and to this whole approach. This approach horrible. In life there are damgers everywhere you can do anything to get hurt so why attack parents of farm kids like this. There are more safety devices like seat belts for kids on tractors. In my farm safety speaking i tell people that they need to be aware of dangers and try and do this as safely as possible but still life needs to occur. If you try and make people scared of everything they will not live and if your not living what is the point. Also the fact that you are trying to tie tremendous guilt on to farm parents is horrible when accidents happen as part of everyday in any industry and in suburbia are well as rural areas.

Jerry Foster    
Jefferson City Missouri  |  April, 03, 2014 at 02:14 PM

Rebecca, your reaction to this safety campaign is an indication that you should not be speaking to anyone about farm safety. You make excuses for risky behavior. The proper philosophy for a safety trainer is to crush the excuses and don't accept the status quo. While life is a risk due ot circumstances we can't contol, we don't have to accept the risk of circumstances that we are aware of and do control. If we know something is dangerous we should take every possible action to eliminate that danger. You should have the mindset that you have to do jobs as safely as possible. Your should adopt the philosphy that a job shouldn't be done if it can't be done safely. Believe it or not, when it comes to accidents, ZERO IS POSSIBLE. I don't think the authors of this campaign are trying to make people scared of everything. I think they are trying to make people develope a safety and risk elimination culture that will save a lot of lives. You said people won't live if they are scared. Well flip through a few of the articles that accompanied the webinar presented by CSAN and you will find that several children won't be answering that question. They weren't scared nor were their parents. At least they weren't scared prior to the accident that killed the child. Continued in next comment.

Jerry Foster    
Jefferson City Missouri  |  April, 03, 2014 at 02:14 PM

Rebecca, your reaction to this safety campaign is an indication that you should not be speaking to anyone about farm safety. You make excuses for risky behavior. The proper philosophy for a safety trainer is to crush the excuses and don't accept the status quo. While life is a risk due ot circumstances we can't contol, we don't have to accept the risk of circumstances that we are aware of and do control. If we know something is dangerous we should take every possible action to eliminate that danger. You should have the mindset that you have to do jobs as safely as possible. Your should adopt the philosphy that a job shouldn't be done if it can't be done safely. Believe it or not, when it comes to accidents, ZERO IS POSSIBLE. I don't think the authors of this campaign are trying to make people scared of everything. I think they are trying to make people develope a safety and risk elimination culture that will save a lot of lives. You said people won't live if they are scared. Well flip through a few of the articles that accompanied the webinar presented by CSAN and you will find that several children won't be answering that question. They weren't scared nor were their parents. At least they weren't scared prior to the accident that killed the child. Continued in next comment.

Jerry Foster    
Jefferson City Missouri  |  April, 03, 2014 at 02:38 PM

Rebecca, you also complained about the CASN campaign placing tremendous guilt on farm parents. You have it backward. CASN is trying to prevent farm parents from experiencing tremendous guilt. I met a particular farm family about 25 years ago. Dad and son were really nice guys and I enjoyed working and visiting with them. Mom was a different story. She did not work on the farm, not even in the garden. On the rare occasions when she went to town, she always had a disheveled appearance and she didn't talk much. In fact, very often she didn't even look people in the eye to talk. I asked my boss what was wrong with her. He told me that she let her boys ride in the back of a pickup that she was using to pull a tractor her husband was trying to start. When the tractor fired, the pickup lurched and one of the boys fell over the tailgate into the path of the tractor less than 15 feet behind the pickup. The child who was about 4 years old didn't even make it to the hospital. It was a common thing done on farms in that time. No one placed any guilt on that poor mother. She placed it all on herself. If she had not died about 20 years early from what I suspect was depression related health problems, I think she would have quietly said, get this campaign out to every farm so people won't suffer like me.

maxine    
SD  |  April, 13, 2014 at 02:53 PM

I believe 'Rebecca' is the only one who is RIGHT, in these comments! The tone seems clearly to turn 'farm kids' into 'city kids' by not allowing them to 'work' with parents at young ages. Yes, parents need to be aware of dangers and do their best to protect small children. That doesn't necessarily mean putting them into, at least in effect, 'day care situations' and keep them away from farm work. Why is common sense so disdained these days? Granted, it does seem to be a rare commodity! But, wouldn't a better answer be good training materials for parents/families, as well as better equipment with child awareness, thus safety, designed into it? We all know horror stories of children killed or severely injured in accidents........both on and off the farm. The woman used in the comments (does she really exist, or is 'she' created to make a point?) might have lived a far better life, had she been given adequate medical, faith, and community counseling and friendships. How is such an accident different or anyone more to blame than when a small child in a town or city is able to slip away from parents at a park, his own yard, or any public facility and suffer a maiming or fatal injury? How is it better for farm kids to be kept from learning to help with chores and become a functioning partner on the farm as a young person (say age 16), or to either get bored with approved 'kid life' and get into gangs, or be injured in innocent daredevil stunts at the skate board park, for instance?


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