County Farm and Home Safety Association says when you know the risks you can avoid the danger

ALMA – Don’t drink liquids if you don’t know what they are. 

Don’t walk behind or in front of a tractor that’s running without letting the driver know. 

Never go in an area where grain is stored.

These were some of the lessons children learned at the Wellington County Farm and Home Safety Association 5th annual Pancake Breakfast, held at the Alma Community Centre on March 2.

About 300 people and 35 volunteers came out for the free pancake breakfast and to connect with their neighbours and cycle through the displays.

But every child who filled out a passport with a signature from every display, was eligible for a door prize.

So they clamored to hear the short talks going on at each booth, interact with the displays, and often walk away with stickers, book marks or other loot.

There were booths about poison, about guns, about the safe operation of ATVs.

Walter Grose, secretary for the Wellington County Farm and Home Safety Association, said there were quite a few farmers in attendance, “but because we’re farm and home, we cover all cross sections.

“When urban kids go to the farm, they don’t necessarily know the dangers.”

While there were displays about farm safety – specifically the danger of the power take off that runs many pieces of farm equipment, and avoiding tractor rollovers – there was also information that applied no matter where you live.

Like information about safety around rivers and lakes, the potential dangers of electricity, and the importance of knowing your address if you ever have to call 911.

“Prevention is key,” Grose said. “But sometimes people are in a rush and don’t bother with the safety equipment. That’s when something happens. It can take just one split second.”

The association also holds safety days in schools to broaden their reach. Children are pretty receptive to the safety lessons, he said, and might bring the safety message home to their parents as well.

Grose said he rotates safety days through parochial schools so every student hears the presentation twice before graduating in Grade 8. Mennonite students often end their schooling in Grade 8, and it’s so important to get the farm safety message to them before they go to work on the farm full time, he said.

This safety day was slated just before spring, to remind farmers, their families and visitors to the farm about safety practices before they get out in the field.

The local safety day is part of a national farm safety campaign.

Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW) is a public awareness campaign focusing on the importance of farm safety that this year takes place March 10 to 16.