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6 Tips for Safe Hayrides

Oct 19, 2021
pumpkin patch

Harvest season is here! Along with apple picking and corn mazes, hayrides are a fun tradition that gets the whole family outdoors enjoying the fall weather. 

If your family is planning to go on a haunted or scenic hayride this season, it is important to remember that tractors and trailers are heavy, powerful pieces of equipment that can lead to serious injuries if you are not careful. 

Before getting on the ride, read through these tips to help make the activity safer for everyone:

  • Follow the rules. Read the posted rules and explain them to your children so everyone understands how to enjoy the ride safely. 
  • Listen closely. The staff - from the person selling your ticket, to the one helping you aboard, and the operator themself - may have important safety information to share. They know the rules, can answer questions, and should discourage unsafe behavior.
  • Stay seated with arms and legs inside the wagon. Once everyone has found a seat, remain seated for the entire ride. The hay may be slippery, and it’s easy for both children and adults to lose their balance on a moving wagon. It’s important to always keep arms and legs inside the wagon to avoid being crushed or hit by things outside the wagon. 
  • Always hold onto the rail. Make sure children are always holding onto the railings. Adults should hold on to small children and railings. Make sure the hayride is at a complete stop before getting on or off. If there are steps, they could be slippery because of the hay or straw. Hold onto the guard rail or allow someone on the ground to assist you and your child.
  • Stay off the path of the ride. When not riding, be mindful of the path the ride takes and make sure that the whole family is out of the way. 
  • Trust your instincts. If, after looking at the ride, the operator, and the path, you are worried about the safety of the ride for any reason, find another activity to enjoy as a family. 

By following these tips and the posted rules at the site, the whole family can enjoy the sights and smells of Autumn while avoiding hayride-related injuries.

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Featured Expert

Shea Smoske
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Shea Smoske is a program coordinator on the Translational Research team in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Laura Dattner
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.