Farm Safety

Keeping Kids Clear of Hazardous Materials on the Farm

Fertilizers, pesticides and some naturally growing plants and berries can be a poison risk to young children who often pick up and put things in their mouths that they shouldn’t. Take a look at the tips below to make sure you keep these things out of your child’s reach.


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    • When you think poison, you’re probably thinking of pesticides and other chemicals. But plants and berries can be just as dangerous. 
    • Teach kids to check with you before they eat anything that they find on the farm. And for the fruits and vegetables that are safe to eat, make sure kids know to wash them (and their hands!) before they take a bite. 
    • Walk around the farm, and show children what’s safe to touch or eat and what’s not. If you have questions about the poisonous plants in your area, call the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222.

    • Keep children away from areas where poisonous products are being used or stored. This includes fertilizers, pesticides, cleaning products, animal medications, and fuels. 
    • When poisonous products can’t be locked up, be sure to store them up and away, out of your child’s sight and reach. 
    • Read the label on every new product. Make sure everyone who comes in contact with it understands how to use it and store it safely. 
    • Keep products in their original containers to help prevent dangerous mix-ups from happening. And to avoid cross-contamination, don’t use empty containers for other purposes. 
    • Wash up thoroughly after using chemicals. Shower and wash your work clothes separately from the rest of the family’s clothes. Be sure to dispose of any chemicals you don’t need. Follow the label instructions and your community’s rules for safe disposal. 
    • Learn about other hazardous chemicals and tips on dealing with them.

    • Manure pits should always be fenced in to keep children away. Not only are they a drowning risk, they are also a poisoning risk. 
    • When manure decomposes, it gives off harmful gases that can be poisonous, or even start a fire.

    • If you suspect your child ingested something poisonous, call the Poison Help line 1-800-222-1222. 
    • Do NOT make them vomit; do not use ipecac or charcoal until you speak with someone at Poison Control or to a medical professional. 
    • If your child has any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately: 
      • Seizures 
      • Is not breathing 
      • Is unconscious
    • Living on a farm could mean that you’re farther away from help if something happens. Make sure that you have quick access to a phone and clear directions to your location in your home, in the barn, and other facilities to help save time in an emergency.

Did You Know?

Not only can the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222) help you with an emergency, they can also provide a list of poisonous plants in your area.