Back for its 25th year, the farm safety day hosted by the Waterloo Rural Women group will teach kids all about what being safe on the farm means and how to do so.
Set for June 3, the event will feature six different stations, including demonstrations from the fire department on how to properly use a fire extinguisher and call 911, the Ontario Provincial Police talking about bike safety, and other sponsors talking about large machinery and large animal safety.
“It’s all about creating an awareness… we just feel strongly that it’s important to educate kids who live on farms and kids who visit farms, especially kids who live on farms because you live where your parents work, and there’s lots of hazards around the farm,” said committee member Sharon Grose.
“The media tells you about the accidents that happen but you don’t hear about the near-misses. And when we hold farm safety day, kids will tell you stories about things that almost happened that they remembered that they shouldn’t do. Or this happened to a sibling and now they know not to do,” Grose said.
Her husband, Walter Grose, will be suiting up as Safety Sam up to teach kids about how to ride farm equipment safely, including the idea of “one seat, no passengers.”
“Sometimes people will put kids on their lap and stuff like that, and that’s just not a safe way to travel. But it’s kind of hard for kids to turn to their dad when their dad says ‘hop up on my lap’ to say, ‘No dad, I can’t do that.’ But they can turn around and say ‘Safety Sam says ‘one seat, one passenger, no riders’ and it works,” she said.
The kids will also play a game that will teach the proper way to approach an operational tractor, including the importance of eye contact.
“If they have to walk out to the tractor, we teach them that they need to make eye contact before they get close to a tractor because [the driver] can’t see you. You can’t see a kid when they’re right up beside you when you’re in the tractor,” Grose explained.
Kids who have attended in the past can be an important influence on the parents, she added.
“We find that when kids attend these days, they’ll go home and talk about it at suppertime or when their parents are doing fieldwork and they’ll remember something that they were told at farm safety day.”
The longevity of the day has also shown its influence, Grose said.
“We have kids who took the farm safety and they’ve come back to volunteer and some of them are parents now and they’re bringing their kids, so that’s kind of neat.”
The farm safety day runs on June 3 at Denis and Helen Martin’s farm in West Montrose from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register, contact 519-580-5716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.