At OnFarmSafety NZ we understand that a lot of people have chosen farming as a career because it is a great environment to bring children up in. This unfortunately does not mean it is a safe one.
Luckily it is very easy to instil a sense of health and safety in children and keep them safe on farm while still enjoying the farming lifestyle.
Some of the biggest risks to children on farm are animals, machinery such as quad bikes and tractors, water and chemicals. Tips to mitigate some risks to children:
1. Try to include children in talks about health and safety where possible, even if it is to help check oil on a quad bike or a possible hazard on the farm.
2. Provide children with high visibility gear and helmets that fit well. Ensure you wear yours, as children are always watching what the adults around them are doing!
3. Always have chemicals locked away where children couldn’t possibly reach them and ensure you let them know about how dangerous the chemicals can be.
4. Try not to have children working around large animals when possible, if they must then ensure they wear appropriate safety equipment. Teach them of the importance of washing hands after working with animals.
5. Ensure where needed or possible, any 'danger areas' are covered or fenced. These are things such as effluent ponds, water ways, tanks or wells etc
A lot of accidents relating to children on farm are preventable, they just require parents to put systems in place that will help make it a safer place.