Demonstration idea: Chemical look-a-likes

One way to reinforce safety messages is to conduct a safety demonstration. Everyone learns a little differently. Some people will take statistics to heart. Others will be affected by the potential harm a hazard can inflict. Considering farming is a business, knowing the effect on their productivity and bottom line will impact some too.

Some people are visual learners. They need to see things in action to make sense of a concept. For those people, demonstrations are a great tool.

One of the most popular demonstrations for agriculture safety is a chemical look-a-like. From household cleaners to pesticides, chemicals are all over a farm and pose a particular threat to young children. Toddlers want to put everything in their mouth, and they don’t know the difference between Windex and a sports drink.

The demonstration itself is quite simple. All you need is:

– Clear containers (baby food jars, water bottles, etc)
– Chemicals
– Edible counter parts

A few chemicals and their edible counter parts to get you thinking:

1. Windex -> blue sports drink
2. Motor oil -> maple syrup
3. Gasoline -> orange kool-aid
4. Livestock medication in pill form -> sweet tarts

Then ask people to pick which one is the chemical and which one is edible. Go a step further and ask them if they can name the chemical and the edible substance.

Chemical look-a-likes are great at events like county fairs. And it usually leaves the adults scratching their heads!

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About Farm Safety For Just Kids

Farm Safety For Just Kids is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to rural children and youth. We produce and distribute educational materials addressing various dangers commonly found in the rural environment. Farm Safety For Just Kids is supported by a chapter network of grassroots volunteers located throughout the United States and Canada. The organization also has part-time outreach coordinators in several states. Chapters, outreach coordinators, and volunteers conduct educational programs to raise awareness about safety and health issues affecting their communities.
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One Response to Demonstration idea: Chemical look-a-likes

  1. Tony says:

    This is a great idea. I run a after school and summer program for K-6 kids and I can’t think of a more appropriate demonstration that the young people can associate with.

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