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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Local youth learn rural safety

by Sylene Argent

Around 60 youths are a little more aware of potential hazards after participating in the annual Kid’s Safety Day last Thursday.

  The Essex County Farm Safety Association hosts the annual event with support from the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. This year’s event took place at the Harrow fairgrounds, which provided plenty of room for the volunteers to set up and man a variety of safety stations, each with a different topic.

  Anne Anger is a Coordinator for the event. She said the stations included safety tips and information about sun protection, ATV use, precautions to take when around large animals, how to remain safe when boating or working around water, and what to do when working around a tractor or lawnmower. Another message promoted included not to play around grain.

  Members of Essex Fire & Rescue were also onsite to let the young participants use the newest piece of educational equipment, which the Harrow Rotary Club purchased for the local fire service. The machine allows firefighters to teach participants how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

  “The kids got to put out a live fire,” Anger said, noting that was a significant piece of education they were able to bring home.

  The youth also watched on as a tractor’s PTO system pulled in a man made of straw, which demonstrated the hazard of working too close to this type of equipment.

Another theme of the day was teaching the young participants emergency preparedness.

  The annual event offers many of the same stations year-after-year, because it is important for the youth to understand the messages presented, Anger noted. “The parents learn something, too,” she added.

  Anger thanked the volunteers who offered up their time to teach the participating youth, age five-12, about safety, which will hopefully lead to an accident-free summer.

  Not all the young participants live on a farm, she noted. Though the safety tips taught during the event are mostly rural-related, any youth could benefit as they could get opportunities to visit farms or rural areas.

  The participating youth not only got to take home a load of information with them, they also received a free safety day t-shirt and loot bag full of goodies.

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