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A bumper crop of safety.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 25,000 Americans were treated in 1992 for injuries related to farm equipment, an 11 percent increase over the previous year's total. Nearly 4,000 of that number occurred among children younger than age 15.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) believes this is partly because most people place their farm machinery near the farmhouse or play area. Also, there are no national and few state or local guidelines for farm safety on farms fewer than 400 acres.

Because the AAOS believes that most farming injuries are preventable, it urges parents to discuss with their children the proper usage and safety features of all farm equipment. The AAOS recommends that farming children use the following guidelines:

--Long hair must be tucked under a hat;

--Do not wear jewelry;

--Use protective goggles;

--Do not wear loose-fitting clothing that could easily become caught in farm machinery;

--Wear boots instead of sneakers or sandals while operating machinery;

--Know the land you are working. Use a tractor only on a straight surface, never on an incline where you stand the greatest risk of tipping over;

--Do not wear audio headphones while operating machinery;

--Leave safety shields on equipment. If removed for repair, shields should be put back into place before the machine is turned on;

--Always let an adult know where you will be.

All vehicles should have audible warning signals that go off when the driver puts the vehicle in reverse. Also, adults should never transport very young children on any mower with a large rotary blade.

The majority of farm equipment injuries are related to tractors, silo loaders, farm tillage equipment, post-hole drivers, mowers, hay processing equipment, and wagons.
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Title Annotation:preventing farming accidents
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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