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Farm safety for children


For Immediate Release:

March 19, 2012

LHSC Trauma Program promotes education for families during national farm safety week


(LONDON, Ontario) – Farming is one of Canada’s most dangerous industries. During National Farm Safety Week from March 14 to 20, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is encouraging families to learn more about what they can do to ensure the safety of children on farms.

According to the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR) program, from 1990 to 2005, there were 217 agricultural fatalities among children and youth aged 14 or younger. Approximately 45 per cent were under the age of five.

Runovers and drownings are the most common causes of fatalities among children. Machine runovers caused 42 per cent of fatalities, followed by drownings (15 per cent), machine rollovers (11 per cent), animal-related injuries (7 per cent), and being caught in or under a non-machine objects (5 per cent).

As the designated Lead Trauma Hospital (LTH) for the Southwestern Ontario region, LHSC plays a leadership role in the specialized care of injured adults and children, including those suffering from farming injuries. The program coordinates services to meet regional needs and participates in local, provincial and national programs related to education, research and injury prevention.

The Canada Safety Council identifies several ways in which a farm can be made a child safe environment.

• Inspect your farm for hazards that could lead to injury. Involve your children in the inspection and explain the potential hazards.
• Give older children age-appropriate tasks.
• Make sure children receive and understand safety training before each activity.
• Never allow extra riders on any equipment.
• Check your provincial laws to learn the legal age for operating farm machinery.
• Keep work areas neat and clean and machinery in good repair.
• Make grain bins and work areas off-limits to children. It takes only two or three seconds to become helplessly trapped in flowing grain.
• Keep children away from farm chemicals. Store the chemicals in a cabinet, room or building that can be locked.
• Keep children away from animals, especially in livestock-handling areas. A calm animal can become dangerous if it or its offspring feel threatened.
• Often the victims of drownings on the farm are less than six years old. Fence farm ponds and manure pits, or any other source of water that could be hazardous to children.

Source: Canada Safety Council

For further information on LHSC’s Trauma program: http://www.lhsc.on.ca/About_Us/Trauma/

For further information on the Canada Safety Council’s National Farm Safety Week:

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For media inquiries contact:
Laura Tyrrell
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 75724

Visit the LHSC Media web site at www.lhsc.on.ca/media