Each year in New Zealand children die and are injured on the farm where they live, work and play.
Children are vulnerable to many of the same hazards as adults who live or work on farms, but they are less capable of understanding those hazards and associated risks. Although parents cannot completely child-proof a farm, they need to make it as safe as possible.
Farm-related childhood injuries and deaths may seem unpredictable and random, but there are definite factors that should play a part in prevention efforts.
Parents can take these precautions to prevent children from getting hurt on the farm or ranch:
§Find out the developmental characteristics of children at specific ages
§Identify the dangerous areas on your farm and determine where kids are most likely to get hurt
§Determine what draws kids to dangerous situations
§Set up appropriate rules and/or boundaries for children to follow and be consistent in enforcement of the rules
§Train youth in proper and safe operation of farm tasks before assigning chores
§Provide necessary personal protective equipment for the job
§Supervise children based on age and maturity level. Children must prove they are capable of following instructions and safety rules.