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David Sparks Ph.d Age Appropriate Work
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: June 16, 2017

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“It happens more often than it should. The number of youth that this happens to from year-to-year varies somewhat. Across the United States it typically happens to in a years time at least on a given year 15 to 20 youth. Some years it is even double that.” Those grim statistics come from Marsha Salzwedel, Agricultural Youth Safety Specialist with the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. She says that youngsters and grain silos can be a lethal combination. “The real issue with the youth that this happens to is that when youth get entrapped in a grain bin, we say engulfed where the corn goes over their head, the fatality rate is much higher than it is for adults. The totality rate goes up to over 80% versus four and adult it’s about 50%.”

How can such tragedies be prevented? The best prevention measure is to never send a young person into any type of a storage facility if there is grain in it. Youth are just not typically capable of responding fast enough. It happens so fast. Once that grain starts flowing, you are trapped to the point that you can't get out of the grain in less than five seconds and you can be fully engulfed, over your head in less than a minute. This of course depends on the size of a grain and the flow rate. We need to keep young people out of these bins whenever there is any product in them.” She says this falls under the heading… Age appropriate work.

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