“Farmyards are busy workplaces. Children are more at risk during the school holidays as they spend more time on the farm.”
“The farm can be a place of great fun and excitement for children. However, it can also be an extremely dangerous environment, so keeping children safe on our farms must remain a priority.”
“All too often, they have access to the entire farm and view it as one big play space. Children must be taught about farm dangers and be kept away from the risks.”
Those are the key messages that the HSENI has issued today (Thursday, June 9th, 2022) as part of Child Farm Safety Week.
HSENI’s Agriculture team is visiting rural primary schools this week to deliver farm safety talks to Primary one and Primary seven pupils right across NI in the run-up to the summer holidays.
The safety watchdog has reminded all schoolchildren to submit their entries for its annual ‘Avoid Harm on the Farm’ poster competition.
The 12 winning entries will form part of the HSENI’s 2023 farm safety calendar.
Children in NI from Primary Schools and Special Schools are invited to enter the competition – which runs until the end of this month – by drawing a poster outlining the dangers that are present on farms.
Children on farms
Camilla Mackey, head of the agri-team at HSENI, said:
“HSENI would encourage your children to enjoy the farm! There are plenty of things that children can do to help out.”
“These are excellent life skills for the future. However, remember; this is wholly dependent on the child’s age and maturity.”
“Parents must be very mindful of this and ensure children of all ages are adequately supervised on the farm at all times.”
“Children must also never be carried on agricultural vehicles or machinery during work activities until they are 13 years or over.
“Children of all ages are naturally curious. Therefore, it is really important that they are educated about safety on the farm from an early age so that they are aware of the potential dangers and learn how to avoid them.”
“The annual poster competition is an ideal way for parents to remind their children about how to stay safe on the farm.”
“I would encourage parents to help their children identify dangers such as tractors and machinery, silage harvesting, and slurry operations, for example, and illustrate to us their ideas on farm safety.”
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