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Age Appropriate Tasks for Youth

By Jerry Tesmer
Extension Educator, Fillmore and Houston Counties

Each year, about 100 farm children die across our country as a result of work-related injuries. Sometimes parents overestimate their child's ability to perform dangerous jobs. Before asking your child to perform any task or chore, ask yourself: Is my child physically and mentally prepared to handle the task at hand? Most child development experts suggest waiting until a child is at least age 12 or 13 before you allow them to operate a tractor or perform other potentially hazardous jobs. Even then, kids need adequate training and supervision.