Children being carried along as extra riders on farm and lawn-care equipment continues to be a concern among safety professionals.
“It is difficult, if not impossible, to pay full attention to operating the machine when you have a youngster in your lap or riding on the fender,” says John Slocombe, Kansas State University extension farm safety specialist.
More than 100 children are killed on U.S. farms each year, he says. Many of these deaths are from accidentally falling off the operator’s station of a tractor or farm implement and being run over by the tractor or trailed equipment.
When there is only one seat, the rule of thumb is for the operator and no one else to occupy the seat. For safety’s sake, never allow extra riders. This rule applies to farm as well as lawn and garden tractors, he says.