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 at this link:
Farm safety checklist for parents
As a parent, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent accidents:
- have a safe and secure play area for young children
- prevent children from playing in or around farmyards and livestock
- make sure your vehicles have good all-round visibility
- prevent all children under 13 years from riding on tractors and farm machinery
- restrict the use of the quad and have suitable safety equipment
- secure all heavy wheels, gates, heavy equipment and stacked materials to prevent them from toppling over
- make sure your slurry lagoon is securely fenced to prevent children from gaining access and make sure tank covers are always in place
- always keep children well away when mixing slurry
- keep track of where family members are playing or working and when they are expected back
- make sure everyone washes their hands before eating and drinking
- keep chemicals locked in a secure store when not in use
- make sure that guards are in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery
- make sure all family members know what to do in an emergency
- prepare 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.