With the excitement of Christmas and school holidays, farm families can overlook the dangers on their land and in their yards, according to Alma Jordan, founder of AgriKids.
It is important to remember that farm safety is not just for the warmer, brighter evenings – it is a mindset that is needed all year around.
Tragically, there was one child fatality in 2017, and one the previous year. In the period 2006 to 2015, 24 children lost their lives in farm accidents.
AgriKids advises taking a few minutes to tick the boxes on a family farm safety checklist to ensure that everyone has a happy and safe festive festive season and an accident-free year ahead.
Here are the company’s top five tips:
- Just the jacket: High-visibility clothes and accessories are essential on dark days and nights as well as early mornings. Use them as seasonal stocking fillers. Extra clothing layers should be tucked in and jackets zipped or buttoned up. Make sure there aren’t any hanging strings that could get snagged or entangled in machinery;
- Safety in numbers: Never allow young children onto the farm on their own. Kids are naturally curious, so take time to explain the dangers rather than just warning them to stay away;
- Think age appropriate: Get kids involved in farm life by giving them tasks suitable for their age, such as feeding hens, stacking buckets, and sweeping. This will allow them to learn valuable skills about farm life. As they grow, so too can their level of responsibility. Handling farm machinery is not a task suitable for a child as 70% of child deaths occur due to machinery and tractors, according to the Health and Safety Authority;
- Lighten up: Prevent slips and falls by ensuring adequate lighting around the farm;
- Be prepared: Have a farm safety action plan. Leave a fully-stocked first aid kit and emergency numbers easily accessible.