As National Farm Safety Week continues, there’s a very salient message from Chairman of Farmsafe Australia, Charles Armstrong.
“As farmers, our most precious gift is our children.”
Mr Armstrong says, tragically, too many children are injured or even worse killed on our farms each year.
“We really want all farmers to be pro-active and take the steps that we know can protect our future farmers.”
Last year there were nine deaths to children on farms. Quad bikes are the leading cause while farm infrastructure such as water tanks and farm vehicles such as trucks and tractors were also causes.
“A key area for all farms is to have a secure safe play area for children under 5 years. Whether you are parents of young children, a grandparent or simply have kids visiting on your property every now and then, a secure play area is a must.”
Tragically, around 30 % of the child deaths on Australian farms involve farm visitors.
“Quads are also a disturbing feature affecting children and we are pleading with parents to ensure that children under 16 years don’t ride or be carried as passengers on quads of any size. Last year we had three children killed. Put simply, the risk is not worth it, as kids don’t have the physical size, strength, coordination and emotional maturity to safely operate such a dangerous piece of equipment.”
“Of course, we want to develop in our kids a love of the land and all things agricultural, but if you want them to help, put them on a two-wheeler, make sure it’s the right size for them, that they have a helmet and other protective gear and are trained and supervised.”
“The chances of serious injury or worse are far less, as two wheelers don’t crush or asphyxiate riders when they roll.”
Mr Armstrong says the two things you can do straight away for young children that may live or visit your farm is to make sure you have a secure safe play area and not to allow children on quads.
Further information can be found at: www.farmsafe.org.au