Farming changed dramatically with the invention of the tractor. Although the tractor has streamlined farm work and increased output, the tractor carries significant risks to users. In fact, tractor accidents are the leading cause of death in farming accidents, according to the National Agricultural Tractor Safety Initiative with the University of Washington.
Discuss tractor designs with your child. While some newer tractors have cabs and roll-over bars for added protection from accidents, tractors continue to be inherently unsafe for drivers and riders because of the risk of roll-over accidents.
Talk about seat belts with your child. In a car, everyone has a place to sit and a seat belt to provide a safety restraint. Most tractors have only one seat and one seat belt to keep the driver safe, meaning that tractors are safe for only one person driving or riding on it, advises the North Dakota Farm Bureau.
Caution your child to never accept a ride on a tractor, warns the KidsHealth website. Riding anywhere on a tractor but in the seat with a seat belt is unsafe, including on a fender or on an attachment. A tractor can flip over in as little as 1 1/2 seconds, according to the North Dakota Farm Bureau. Tractors can also hit bumps or uneven surfaces and someone not secured with a seat belt could fall off the tractor.
Warn your child about the threat of being run over by a tractor. Falling off the tractor could lead to being run over by the vehicle. In addition, it can be difficult for a tractor driver to see people near a moving tractor -- especially children. Teach your child to stay away from work areas and moving tractors because she might not be able to make her presence known to the driver.
- The Childhood Agricultural Safety Network recommends that children younger than age 12 should never ride on or be near a work area with a moving tractor.
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