The Vermont Farm Show runs January 30, 2018 through February 1, 2018.
Working on the farm alongside family or team members is an invaluable learning experience for children. That said, it is important to understand that each farm task carries a certain level of risk. Children working on a farm need the appropriate physical and cognitive maturity to complete tasks.
The North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) are contained in a searchable database that enables you to identify a farm task and follow a checklist to determine a child’s ability to complete the task.
Farm Safety Tips for Children
- A child should never be an extra rider on a tractor or other machinery. The rule is “one seat, one rider.”
- Supervise all children. Never leave them alone on the farm.
- Provide children with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for a given task. Teach children the proper use and fit of any PPE items.
- Keep equipment in proper working condition.
- Do not allow visiting children into farm work areas. Restrict such areas to children working on the farm.
- Be a good role model. Wear the correct PPE and follow safe operating procedures.
- If children are not physically and cognitively ready to work on the farm, ensure that they have appropriate child care and stay away from farm work areas.
- Routinely inspect your farm for hazards and immediately remove any dangers.
- Encourage children to participate in local farm and ranch safety activities.
To learn more about farm safety activities in your area, contact your local Cooperative Extension office. Click here to visit to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) listing of Cooperative Extension offices.
Age-appropriate tasks for children on farms and ranches. (2012) Farm and Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice. Retrieved from http://www.extension.org/pages/63149/age-appropriate-tasks-for-children-on-farms-and-ranches