FROM OUR READERS

9 ways to make your kids summer a farm safe one

Be farm safe and stay farm safe

Iam a reluctant farmer’s wife. I had no natural ‘want’ to learn the culinary skills of brown bread baking. If ‘himself’ needs a few emergency sandwiches for the lads in the field, I’m pretty sure I’m not the first one he calls. Does this bother me? Of course not, but it does bother my mammy, the quintessential farmer’s wife.

However, I did grow up on a farm and I appreciate the love a farmer has for his land and livestock. Not many would willingly enter an occupation where the losses frequently outweigh the gains. It is a true love, but it is a love that can be deadly.

The HSE recently reported that between April 2016 and March 2017, 27 people died in farming related accidents in the UK. The summer months mean more farming activity and children visiting farms, so here are some top tips to help you, your family and everyone to be ‘Farm Safe and Stay Farm Safe’, all year round.

Here are my top farm safety tips

1. Fairly obvious, but make sure children are never alone on the farm.

2. When specific work is planned, such as slurry agitation. Tell your family to stay away.

3. Use farm visits as an opportunity to explain various dangers.

4. Set age-appropriate ground rules.

5. Explain the warning signs with animal behaviour.

6. Explain what the various symbols mean on toxic materials.

7. Set up a dedicated play area – farmyards are not playgrounds.

8. Keep your first aid kit stocked and accessible.

9. Show your children how you prevent farm accidents.

Through engagement and education, we can empower our children to be farm safety ambassadors, creating dialogue directly in the home and encouraging farm safety practice.

Farmland Magazine

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Alma Jordan

Co. Meath Farmer’s wife Alma Jordan is founder of the Agrikids farm safety initiative . Learn more at www.agrikids.co.uk

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