Spring planting season is well underway for most Iowa farmers, meaning, it can be a dangerous time of year. Farm safety expert John Shutske says children are especially vulnerable on the farm, because they’re often pressed into service out of necessity. “It’s really important parents have a keen understanding, just because a child is big enough and tall enough and strong enough, that doesn’t necessarily make them qualified to do some of the jobs they’re doing,” Shutske says. Cattle and other large animals can be dangerous around children because kids tend to act unpredictably. Shutske says many farm parents are working 12-to-14-hour days this time of year and can easily lose track of what their children are doing. Shutske says there are other dangers aside from the large equipment most people associate with farm accidents. “We see some people in actual commercial grain elevators who are either entrapped in flowing grain or maybe become entangled in a rotating part or grain auger,” Shutske says. “A lot of people that go into bins or feed that that’s in a confined facility or even into a gravity-flow wagon and get engulfed or suffocated in the grain.” Shutske says it’s important for non-farmers to keep an eye out for farm equipment on the roads this time of year. He says that equipment is heavy and slow-moving and motorists should try to be patient.
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