Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tractor Tragedies

Submitted by Darke County Chapter Farm Safety for Just Kids

A child dies from injuries on a farm an average of once every 3.5 days. The most common situation involves a tractor.

The month of March ushers in the spring season and increased activity on farms across the country. In agriculture, many times the work site is in close proximity to the home. How can you remind producers in your area to keep kids safe from tractors and machinery? Posters, radio ads and more information that can be used to communicate tractor safety is available at http://www.childagsafety.org/TractorCampaign.htm.

Consider these incidents:

  • A 2 year old Texas boy died when he fell from a tractor driven by a relative.
  • A 2 year old Missouri child died when he fell from a tractor and was run over.
  • A 4 year old New York boy was injured in a incident involving 2 pieces of farm equipment.
  • A 17 month old Colorado boy was run over and killed by a skid steer operated by his father.
  • A 14 year old Georgia girl was scalped by a tractor's PTO shaft.
  • A 9 year old boy from Vermont was killed while riding in a trailer being pulled by his father's tractor.
  • A 1 year old North Dakota boy died after falling from a tractor driven by his father. His 4 year old brother survived.
  • A 6 year old Minnesota boy died with his grandfather when the tractor they were riding rolled over.
  • A 5 year old Kansas girl died when she fell through the windshield of a combine driven by her father.

Did you notice any trends in the stories above? When children are injured or killed by machinery, a parent or grandparent is frequently the operator. Do you have children or grandchildren? Can you imagine how you would feel in that situation?

The biggest tragedy of all? These deaths were 100 percent preventable.

Allowing children to ride on a tractor is considered a tradition by many. But remember -- “It’s easier to bury a tradition than a child.”

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