Farm Safety by Aoife Meagher (our amazing blogger!)
| Anna Carmody
Books for kids are full of idyllic farmyards, friendly horses and only the occasional Evil Goose to serve as the farmyard bogeyman. We’ve all read countless Enid Blyton novels about the healthy, care-free conditions of farms, and during the spring and summer, farms are pretty class. Baby animals, flowers and fields - it’s pretty top-notch. So, why create a book which so specifically serves to make you stop and think before enjoying all that a farmyard has to offer?
The figures are speaking for themselves. Over 20% of fatal accidents on farms involve children https://www.hsa.ie/eng/Publications_and_Forms/Publications/Agriculture_and_Fore stry/Children_and_Safety_on_Farms.pdf) Any farmyard accident is sobering to consider, but when children are involved, it’s particularly gut-wrenching. Farms have always been places were important, interesting but undeniably dangerous work takes place, and Hazard Farm is seeking to educate the chislers on the dangers which they could encounter, as a form of prevention, rather than scare-mongering.
Top Tips for September Safety
It’s a busy time on the farm, as summer draws to a close and the autumn begins. Here’s a few of our top tips for keeping safe as a family on the farm at this time of the year.
Every day is a school-day, and this is particularly true on the farm. The kids are getting their heads packed with new information, and maybe some of them are putting together their ABCs for the first time, but it’s never too early to talk about signs.
Lots of farm hazards are warned through bright signage - take some time this September to talk your kids through the meaning of the signs. You could even make a game out of it, which kids would be well used to from similar games in the classroom. Bulls, farm machinery and electric fences are a great place to start, and although they might seem heavy, it’s an ideal starting point for farm safety.
There’s plenty of places on the farm where kids shouldn’t wander unsupervised, but when it’s home, it can be hard to keep kids toeing the line. It’s a good idea to talk frankly to your children about farm safety, and underline the reasons for a buddy system. If there are areas where kids shouldn’t go alone, make this very clear - maybe consider adding some of your own signs around the farm, and mixing them into the Sign Safety game from our last point.
The weather may be cooling off, but rains can swell streams and rivers and make previously safe terrain dangerous as the weather draws in. This is a great chance to explain the water
cycle to your kids and explain how rain can make the rivers and streams a more dangerous place in the autumn than it was in the summer, particularly if you have often enjoyed the water as a family during the warm weather.
Farm Safety is for everyone!
The most important element of farm safety is openness and honesty between you and your kids. No one enjoys discussing danger with their children, but with the aid of a book like Hazard Farm, it’s possible to start a conversation on a level which your kids can understand and even enjoy. Farm safety is absolutely paramount as the seasons change, and whatever aids can help you to tackle a tricky conversation should be employed.