Minnesota

Each year, hundreds of children are hurt or killed while playing or working on a farm.

Most of these incidents could be prevented, according to John Shutske, farm safety and health specialist, with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

"Farm accidents and deaths involving children may seem unpredictable and random," says Shutske. "But, in fact, they are very predictable. They happen when a child is doing something that is beyond his or her mental, physical or emotional ability."

As they grow, all children pass through a series of developmental stages that take them from toddler to teenager. "By understanding the stages of a child's growth and development and by providing careful supervision and training that is right for each stage, parents and other adults can protect farm kids," says Shutske.

Shutske is the author of a fact sheet entitled "Keeping Farm Children Safe" that was produced by the University of Minnesota Extension Service. The fact sheet contains a chart describing characteristics of typical developmental stages of children, from toddlers to young adults. The chart also lists risks that farm kids at each stage may take and appropriate protective measures.

"Keeping Children Safe" is available at the county Extension office of the U of M Extension Service. Or, call the Extension Distribution Center, at 800-876-8636 or 612-624-4900. Ask for item number 06188.

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