Responsible farmers realize farm children and farm machinery are not a good, safe combination.

Accordingly, all farm sites with children living there should have designated safe play areas, which have boundaries or physical barriers such as fences, gates or shrubs. These areas should be away from car, truck or other vehicle traffic and away from hazards such as machinery or unstable structures.

These areas also should be away from loud noises, open water and safely shaded from the sun. The areas should be adequately sheltered from wind, dust or hazardous airborne particles.

These areas should be protected with a strong barrier separating children from farm animals and within sight and sound of a responsible adult. They also should be close to first aid, hand washing and toilet facilities. The area should be small or large enough to match the amount of space needed to play safely. It should be easily and regularly maintained with grass mowed and snow removed and where there is little risk of snakes, fire ants or other "critters."

This informaton furnished by the Southwest Ag Center.

TALKIN' COTTON is produced by North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas Cotton, a cotton industry partnership which support and encourages increased cotton production in the Rolling Plains of North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. For more information on the cotton scene, see ntokcotton.org and okiecotton.org. For questions or comments on Talkin' Cotton, contact eventerprise1@hughes.net.