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BUHL — Farm accidents are scary. And most are preventable.

Young students from Clover Christian School south of Buhl were treated last week to a day-long presentation explaining how to stay safe around farm equipment.

Every year, 8,000 families in the U.S. lose a child to a preventable injury, the Safe Kids website says.

“There is nothing worse for a parent than losing a child,” the website says. “Now imagine if the tragedy could have been prevented.”

Accidents can happen anywhere, but accidents on the farm can be deadly. Tractors now claim 125 lives annually, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The J.R. Simplot Co. gives the Safe Kids organization an annual grant for four safety presentations each year, said Jennifer Westendorf, director of Safe Kids Magic Valley. The presentations cover bike safety, ATV safety, tractor safety, canal safety, fire safety, chemicals, electricity and first aid.

“When there’s an injury in a rural area, it affects everybody,” Simplot spokesman Rick Phillips said. “Not all these kids live in the country, but they have friends or grandparents who do.”

Guy Kaster puts kids in a tractor to show blind spots where they can disappear from a tractor operator’s view.

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“Beware of power-take-off shafts,” Kaster said. “It can take your leg or arm off.”

Retired ditch rider Stormy Hopple teaches canal safety in Ag Day presentations. Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates in the U.S.

“Did you know bikes are like cars and have rules?” Westendorf said before demonstrating hand signals for making turns and stops on a bicycle. Each student received a new helmet from Simplot.

Robert Hendrickson explains ATV safety. “Even adults should go through the training,” he said.


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