This is national farm safety week and one Iowa-based group is focusing on the safety of kids. Sherry Burgess is the education director for the group “Farm Safety 4 Just Kids” base in Earlham. Burgess says thousands of children are injured on the farm each year — but many of the injuries could be avoided. She says there are a lot of things we can do to prevent some of the injuries form taking place. She says things like: making sure there’s proper supervision, setting limitations, proper training for children, and she says they’re concentrating on providing and area where children can play. Burgess says kids need a designated area where they can be a kid. She says the farm can be seen as a big play area for kids and they start working on the farm at a young age. So, she says by incorporating a safe play area, you take something that kids enjoy and make it safe. Burgess says it’s a matter of treating kids like kids, not adults when it comes to the farm. She says those who grow up on a farm realize that it can be a very good place to grow up — but it can also be dangerous. She says combines and livestock are intriguing, but they’re very large and dangerous. She says if you take kids away from the dangerous setting and put them in a safe play area, they can still have fun. Burgess says you can get more information about making your farm safe on the web. She says their website: www.fs4jk.org, has all kinds of information on making the farm safe, and they also have a booklet available on play areas. You can also call the organization at 1-800-423-5437. Farm Safety 4 Just Kids was started by Marilyn Adams after her son died in a grain wagon on the family farm.
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