When children become old enough to begin helping on the farm, some of the first responsibilities they are given include handling the animals.
Milking the goats, feeding the chickens, collecting eggs, bottle-feeding baby animals, milking the cows – you name it, it can be done by kids.
But according to the fine folks at Farm Safety for Just Kids, animals are a major source of injuries for kids on the farm. Livestock sense their surroundings differently than humans, which often can cause them to spook and become frightened, and therefore dangerous to an unsuspecting child.
For example, did you know animals see in black and white? Or that they have extremely sensitive hearing? They also have difficulty judging distances and are very protective of their young. All of these factors contribute to the need to handle farm animals with care and precaution.
When it comes to safely handling animals on your farm, be sure your child follows this checklist of 7 precautions when doing their daily chores:
- Be calm, move slowly, and avoid loud noises
- Wear steel toed shoes
- Avoid the hind legs of animals
- Approach large animals at the shoulder
- Avoid animals with babies
- Avoid in-tact male livestock of all species (stallions, bulls, boars, etc)
- Always have an escape route when working in close quarters
Contact your Rural Mutual agent for more farm safety tips and to review your farm insurance.