RASCS News

Teach Children Farm Safety..

Yet another child has been killed on a Farm in the UK this week. Sadly a 2 year old child has tragically died after an accident on a farm in Bideford, Devon. Our thoughts are with the family and all concerned.

Download the HSE Guide here: Preventing accidents to children on farms INDG472(rev4) (hse.gov.uk)

Introduction:

Farming can be an enriching experience for children, providing them with valuable life lessons and a connection to nature. However, it is crucial for parents and guardians to prioritize safety when their children are around farms. The agricultural environment poses unique hazards, and being aware of potential risks can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents. This article aims to provide essential tips and guidelines to help parents keep their children safe on farms.

Educate and Communicate:

The first step in ensuring children’s safety on farms is to educate them about potential hazards. Explain to your child the risks associated with farm equipment, animals, and chemicals commonly found on agricultural properties. Use age-appropriate language and engage in open and ongoing communication about safety guidelines.

Set Boundaries and Supervise:

Establish clear boundaries and ensure that your child understands which areas of the farm are off-limits or require adult supervision. Assign specific tasks suitable for their age and level of maturity. Always keep a watchful eye on young children, especially around machinery, water bodies, and animals.

Farm Equipment Safety:

Farm machinery and equipment are essential for agricultural operations but can be dangerous for children. Teach your child to never operate or play on any machinery without adult supervision and proper training. Lock or disable machinery when not in use, and keep keys out of children’s reach.

Animal Safety:

Educate your child about animal behaviour and establish guidelines for interacting with farm animals. Teach them to approach animals calmly, avoiding sudden movements or loud noises. Encourage children to always ask for permission before petting or feeding animals. Teach them to recognize signs of distress or aggression and to give animals their personal space.

Chemical Awareness:

Farms often use pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that can be hazardous if mishandled. Ensure all chemicals are stored securely in locked cabinets, away from children’s reach. Teach children to never touch or consume any substances without adult supervision and guidance. If using chemicals near children, follow proper safety protocols, such as wearing protective clothing and equipment.

Water Safety:

Farms may have ponds, streams, or irrigation systems that pose drowning risks. Install barriers around water bodies and supervise children closely near these areas. Teach children to swim at an early age and educate them about water safety rules, such as no swimming alone and no running near water bodies.

Protective Gear:

Provide children with appropriate protective gear, such as sturdy boots, gloves, and hats, to keep them safe from potential injuries while working or playing on the farm. Additionally, ensure they are wearing sunscreen to protect against harmful UV rays.

Emergency Preparedness:

In case of an emergency, it is essential to have a plan in place. Teach children how to call for help, including the emergency phone number. Make sure they know their full name, address, and any pertinent medical information. Keep a first aid kit readily available and ensure adults are trained in basic first aid and CPR.

Conclusion:

By prioritizing safety measures and educating children about potential risks, parents can create a secure environment on farms. Regular communication, clear boundaries, and appropriate supervision are key to ensuring the well-being of children around farm equipment, animals, and agricultural chemicals. By implementing these essential tips, parents can provide their children with a safe and enriching farming experience that fosters responsibility, respect for nature, and lifelong skills.