Kit teaches kids about farm safety

The BASF Safety Scouts kit includes a variety of activities to teach children about safety on the farm. | BASF photo

BASF and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association used to offer programs through schools that taught children about safety on the farm.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing children home, it became even more pivotal to teach children about safety on the farm.

As a result, BASF and CASA joined forces to create the Kid’s Safety Hub and BASF Safety Scouts, using fun and engaging ways for children to learn about their safety on the farm.

“The idea that kids are going to be home more and a lot of that safety outreach that we do usually through schools is gone,” said Robin Anderson, the communications co-ordinator with CASA.

“BASF came onboard with us and we developed a for-kids hub.”

The online hub, which was launched last year, includes colouring pages, interactive games, a safety contract and more resources for children.

Now, BASF and CASA have also released the BASF Safety Scouts kit, which families will receive by mail. It features more resources to teach children about farm safety.

“Our approach here is really to help kids to take ownership and take a real role… but also help them to spot risks and manage those risks accordingly,” said Nicole Mcauley, head of communications at BASF.

“Kids being so involved in the day-to-day responsibilities on the farm from a young age, we wanted to help families across Canada to really start to instill those skills back in children.”

The BASF Safety Scouts kit includes a customizable name tag, activities and colouring pages about safety, a BASF Safety Scouts reward badge and a safety vest.

“I want to stress that the safety vests are really great and they are awesome, and of course they are not a replacement for adequate supervision,” Anderson said.

The Canadian Agricultural Safety Program reported that 274 people under the age of 19 died in agriculture-related accidents from 1990 to 2003. According to CASA, 84 children and youth died on farm accidents from 2006-2015. Of those deaths, 53 of them were due to machinery.

“Even one death is too many,” Said Mcauley.

“I’m a parent, too, of the target population of kids. As a parent you’re constantly trying to keep your kids safe. On the farm, that’s a tougher job perhaps than anywhere else because they have access to things like machinery, chemicals, tools that other kids don’t necessarily have. So for me, this is a resource that can help kids to really take that accountability and ownership and get them involved in a really early age in an exciting and engaging way.”

Anderson said the main goal of the Kid’s Safety Hub and the BASF Safety Scouts is to start a conversation in the family about safety on the farm.

“It’s a really great way to open up this conversation about safety and really have that mindset of being like, ‘oh yeah, right, we haven’t actually talked about the dugout,’ or ‘we haven’t actually talked about the machinery,’” said Anderson.

The Kid’s Safety Hub can be found on the CASA website, as well as the order form for a safety scout kit.

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