Coalition Launches Farm Safety Initiative

Rural health organizations are initiating a campaign to keep kids off of tractors.

Published on: Sep 21, 2006

Farm Safety Week is in full swing and as part of that effort there's a new major campaign now getting underway aimed at protecting children from preventable agricultural injuries and deaths. The National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, based in Marshfield, Wis., is teaming with 14 health and safety organizations to deliver the following unified message to ag communities:

Children younger than 12 years old should NEVER be on or near a tractor. Tractors remain the leading cause of fatal injuries to children on farms.

"We want to make a difference in protecting children," says Regina Fisher, youth safety specialist at the National Children’s Center. "We’re trying to preserve the best parts of agricultural tradition, but at the same time change social norms so that people view unsafe practices for what they are - unacceptable."

The coalition - called the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network, is taking a "tough love" stance with a message that it's "easier to bury a tradition than a child."

CASN members include: AgriSafe Network; American Farm Bureau Federation (safety); Canadian Agricultural Safety Association; Farm Safety 4 Just Kids; Migrant Clinicians Network; National Center for Farmworker Health; National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety; National Education Center for Ag Safety; National FFA; National Safety Council; Progressive Agriculture Foundation; Safe Kids Canada; Safe Kids Worldwide; and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.

Interestingly, this effort will have a wide range of child safety advocates representing a range of national groups speaking with a unified voice on this issue. This national campaign has been in the works for some time. You can learn more by visiting www.childagsafety.org.