Sarasota County Extension Hosting Youth Safety Day

RocketKids Article

For many children and teens, farms, ranches and many outdoor areas offer an irresistible opportunity to play and explore, with an array of livestock and machinery, wildlife and rugged settings, and more. But, these areas also can pose an array of unforeseen dangers for the youngsters who work on or visit these settings. UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, in partnership with Progressive Agriculture Foundation, is showcasing ways to spot and avert these often-unexpected risks at a “Youth Safety Day” Feb. 03 at the Sarasota County Farm Bureau, 7289 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. Each year, roughly 100 children die and thousands more suffer injuries on America’s farms and ranches, according to the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. Many of the deaths and injuries come in non-work settings, with children simply playing or relaxing, and are preventable. The Youth Safety Day event, running 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will offer for youth ages 8 through 18 an array of hands-on demonstrations that highlight and help to avoid harmful, hidden hazards of farm surroundings and other rural settings, including large animals, tractors and heavy equipment, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and more. Additional sessions teach lifesaving first-aid techniques, staying safe in the sun or around the machine shop, firearm safety, and more. As a bonus, a helicopter and rescue truck are scheduled for the event, plus an onsite food truck and entertainment. Through the array of engaging activities, children can learn about potential dangers and the importance of taking responsibility for their own safety, understanding and respecting safety rules and guidelines, and then sharing what they learn with their family and friends. Parents are encouraged to attend and support their children’s learning. Supported by donations from local farmers, volunteers, manufacturers and merchants, the event is one in a series held across the United States and Canada by Progressive Agriculture Foundation to raise awareness of the potential dangers inherent in operations that typically feature large equipment, livestock, and a range of other less-obvious hazards. Cost to participate is $5 per youth, in advance or at the gate, and includes snacks, a take-home bag, and a Safety Day T-shirt. Parents or guardians are admitted free with a paid youth. Space is limited, so save your spot by registering early at www.eventbrite.com/e/625674097067. For more information, contact Dr. Rod Greder, sustainable agriculture agent, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, at 941-861-9810 or rgreder@ufl.edu. 

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