Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, July 08, 2000, Image 44

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    Board Game Addresses Child Safety On Amish Farms
Co.) Farming is one of Ameri
ca’s most dangerous occupations.
The danger is especially threat
ening on Mennonite and Old
Order Amish farms where
youngsters use tractors, big
horses and heavy farm machin
ery at early ages.
Teaching farm safety to Men
nonite and Old Order Amish
children is the goal of an interac
tive board game,” Amos and Sa
die’s Farm: A Pathway to Safe
ty,” co-created by researchers
from the School of Nursing in
Penn State’s College of Health
and Human Development.
“Amos & Sadie’s Farm: A
Pathway to Safety” is the only
board game that specifically ad
dresses the cultural safety needs
and concerns of the Amish com
munity while teaching children
to stay safe on their farms and in
their fields. The game, which
took two years to produce, is
being introduced into the Amish
schools dotting the Lancaster
countryside. More than 300 cop
ies of the game have been created
for distribution.
“There is a high incidence of
accidents and injuries among
Amish children. This game is one
of the few resources in the coun
try specific to the Amish and
Mennonite communities, and it
may help reduce farm-related in
juries among children,” says Dr.
Kathleen Fisher, project director
and assistant professor in Penn
State’s School of Nursing.
The team gathered informa
tion from local community mem
bers, including Amish children,
to help create the game. A review
of two Amish newspapers “the
Diary” and “Die Botschaft”
identified stories of accidents, in
juries, and specific farm-related
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injuries. One news clipping, for
example, notes that a 13-year-old
boy fell while cleaning the stable
and the horse stepped on his ab
domen area, injuring his liver to
the extent that the doctor told
him no work for three to six
The researchers also con
ducted a review of self-reported
accidents and injuries of Lancas
ter County Amish between Au
gust 1995 and December 1999.
They found 23 injuries and two
fatalities associated with live
stock, such as being kicked,
trampled or bitten; 19 injuries
and three fatalities reported due
to building structures and falls;
five injuries and eight fatalities
were reported due to machinery.
This informal sampling under
represents the true magnitude of
accidents and injuries as many
Old Order Amish and Mennon
ites may not seek medical atten
tion unless they feel the accident
is significant. In addition, Old
Order Amish does not carry
health insurance, says Fisher,
who is located at The Milton S.
Hershey Medical Center. Across
all farms nationally not just
Old Order Amish and Mennonite
an estimated 100,000 children
are injured each year and more
than 100 are killed in incidents
involving tractors and other farm
equipment, livestock, building
structures and falls.
“Interviews were conducted
with Old Order community
members and statistics of farm
accidents reported to area hospi
tals were reviewed to determine
what safety issues would be cov
ered in the game,” explains Fish
In the game, children follow a
path around a typical Amish
farm with a farmhouse, pond,
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silo, cows, windmill, horse and
buggy, and a milk truck. The
game is for two to six players,
school age to adult. Each player
chooses a colored game piece to
be moved around a farm path
way. On a typical turn, a player
draws a question card. If the
player answers the question cor
rectly, he or she rolls the die and
moves forward the number
rolled. Many of the questions
were developed by Amish and
Mennonite school children so the
topics relate directly to Old
Order farm practices.
Some sample questions in
Q: “What are the two potenti
ally dangerous things in the hay
A: “Pitch fork, hay hole.”
Q: “Why do you climb into
the access window of the grain
A: “The gas from the silage
can be harmful and there are low
levels of oxygen so you could not
breathe. You can be smothered
by the grain.”
Q: “After placing silage in a
silo, how long must you wait be
fore entering?”
A: “Three weeks.”
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Teaching farm safety to Mennonite and Old Order Amish
children is the goal of the interactive board game,
Amos and Sadie’s Farm: A Pathway to Safety.
Other topics include proper safety condition. If the condition
cow milking procedures, CPR, is unsafe, players tell how they
carbon monoxide, feeding ani- wou ld fix it. If they see a safety
mals and downed power lines, feature, they explain it.
There are also photo cards. Play-
ers examine the
photo and identi
fy the hazard or
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