Farms can be wonderful places for children to grow up, where independence and responsibility are fostered and family relationships are strengthened. They are also a fantastic source of learning where organised visits can inform and inspire children from all backgrounds to learn about where their food comes from and how the industry is vital to everyday life.
However, the sad fact is that farms are the only workplace where children continue to die, in what is always a horrific tragedy for families and heart-breaking for their communities.
Farms and farmyards are not playgrounds. They are hazardous. Being hit by, or run over by, farm machinery or visiting vehicles is the biggest single cause of children being killed on farms. Falling from tractors and ATVs; drowning; being crushed or struck by animals or being hit by falling objects are the other main causes.
On a busy farm, and if proper supervision is not possible, the best way to keep children safe on a farm is to keep them away.
The world of agriculture has changed and we all need to keep up. Keeping our children safe and sound has to be a priority for all of us and it is all the more important when it comes to farm transport.
Over the years, farm machines have got bigger and more powerful. The natural curiosity of children and their fascination for working machines tends to draw them towards busy work areas. But children can be hard to see and they are in great danger of being run over by moving machines – especially at busy times, such as during silage making, grain harvesting and slurry spreading.
They also need to be kept away from other vehicles which may visit the farm such as milk tankers or lorries delivering feed.