Students get outdoor safety lessons

On Friday, May 2, the NDSU Extension office from Hettinger County put on their annual Farm Safety Day.

Students in Hettinger County gather to learn about outdoor safety
Students in Hettinger County gather to learn about outdoor safety

Posted May 9, 2014

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

On Friday, May 2, the NDSU Extension office from Hettinger County put on their annual Farm Safety Day.

Kids in the fifth and sixth grade classes from New England and Mott/Regent gathered to learn of the dangers, and the proper precautions to take when working outdoors and riding in a vehicle. Farm Safety Day has shifted from different locations, but this year marked the first time the event was held in New England.

The first station the students attended was a presentation on the importance of wearing a seatbelt restraint when riding in a vehicle. Trooper Greg Tuhy, who is based out of Hettinger, brought a machine that simulated a car rollover. After going through some of the rules and regulations as it relates to seat belt safety laws, Tuhy fired up his simulator.

Designed out of a Ford Ranger pickup, the cab could rotate on an axle that went from the front end of the pickup, out the back of the shortened box. Tuhy was then able to control the speed of it with a separate controller.

He had two dummies weighing about 70 pounds that he was able to use in order to show the students what happens to the occupants of a vehicle during a rollover crash.

When the seatbelt presentation was finished, the students moved over to Memorial Hall, where they were broken up into three different stations.

Duaine Marxen from the extension office in Mott was giving the students a lesson on hearing safety.

The first part of Marxen’s presentation was educating the students on how sound works, and how it’s measured. The students learned about decibel levels and frequencies to have a better understanding of what levels are safe, and how long your ears should be exposed to certain noise.

Marxen’s presentation came full circle when he brought out a decibel reader and used common household items such as a radio, hairdryer, and electric tools, so he could show the kids what kind of sound levels their most commonly exposed to.

In the lower level Delores Ray of Southwest District Health was giving a demonstration on sun protection. The presentation covered many aspects of how to protect yourself against harmful rays.

Ray also touched on the fact that even during the winter,

when it is cold out, harmful sunrays can still penetrate the skin and cause damage.

To help students to know when to get some shade or apply sunscreen, the students made little bracelets with leather and beads. When the beads were exposed to sunlight, they would change color and alert them to go apply sunscreen or seek shade.

Slope County Extension Agent, Shelby Hewson, put on the third presentation. She taught the students outdoor safety as it relates to wild animals. She was presenting on the precautions needed to take in regards to rattlesnakes that make the area around southwest North Dakota their habitat.

Hewson’s lesson also included the dangers of encountering a rabid animal, and how to identify if an animal could be infected with rabies.

For a fun exercise, one student was blindfolded and surrounded by the rest of their peers sitting in a circle. Once blindfolded, the students in the circle were given a device that simulated a rattlesnake’s rattle. As the device was tossed between the students in the circle, the blindfolded participant had to guess and try and pick where the rattle was coming from.

The presentations are rotated from year to year. Because both fifth and sixth grade students participate, the extension office doesn’t want the students to see repeated material.

“We kind of rotate them, because we do just fifth and sixth grade, so fifth becomes sixth grade we can’t do the same topics because they’ve already seen them,” said Charlotte Meier, Administrative Assistant of the Hettinger County Extension.

Meier also said that they try to cover anything related to things that students would find on a farm, and that they usually make the day’s curriculum around who might be available to present.

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