Child safety on farms

Date published: 11 July 2019

Farms can be one of the most dangerous 'playgrounds' for children, particularly during the summer months. Farming families and visitors are being reminded to be extra careful.

Increased risks

The summer poses increased risks to children, as they typically spend more time on the farm during what is a very busy and potentially hazardous period. Various contractors may be on site operating potentially dangerous vehicles and machinery.

Some of the main risks include:

  • moving vehicles such as tractors, quads and harvesters
  • farm animals
  • infectious diseases
  • harmful substances
  • slurry tanks and slurry gas
  • falling objects

You can find out more about farm safety, with further links through to relevant information, on the pages below:

Farm safety checklist for parents

As a parent:

  • do you have a safe and secure play area for young children?
  • do you prevent children from playing in or around farmyards and livestock?
  • do you prevent all children under 13 years from riding on tractors and farm machinery?
  • do you restrict the use of the quad to people over 16 who are properly trained and have the suitable safety equipment?
  • do you secure all heavy wheels, gates, heavy equipment and stacked materials to prevent them from toppling over?
  • is your slurry lagoon securely fenced to prevent children from gaining access and do you make sure tank covers are always in place?
  • do you always keep children well away when mixing slurry?
  • do you keep track of where family members are playing or working and when they are expected back?
  • do you make sure everyone washes their hands before eating and drinking?
  • do you keep chemicals locked in a secure store when not in use?
  • do you make sure that guards are in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery?
  • have you made sure all family members know what to do in an emergency?
  • have you prepared a list of emergency contact telephone numbers?

If children are old enough, tell them about the dangers they should look out, where they are not allowed to go, and encourage them to be responsible.

You can find more information about child safety on farms on the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland website.

Farm Secure app

The Farm Secure app provides an interesting and engaging way for parents and children to learn about the many dangers on farms and how to stay safe all year round.

Children can download the app from the App store, where they can take a quiz on farm safety, compare their scores with others on the leaderboard, and watch a number of farm safety videos on issues such as slurry, machinery, farm animals, and bugs and germs.

More useful links

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