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Farm safety

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Living on or visiting a farm can be great fun and very different from living in the city. Children on farms often help around the farm, looking after animals, working with adults, mending things or shifting stock and feed. They also might do things that may not be safe, such as using machinery and maybe driving tractors, ag-bikes and other farm vehicles.

tractorCity children often envy children who live on farms. They think that farm kids get to do all sorts of exciting 'grown up' things, eg. driving. Some farm kids in Australia don't go to school but stay home and do their lessons on "School of the air".
Sounds really great doesn't it?

Kids on farms who have to work hard may not always think it's such fun, especially if they have to get up before dawn to do their chores before schoolwork or have a long trip to get to school.

Kids who live on farms are more likely to get hurt than city kids.

Injuries to children mostly happen in the home and if your home is on a farm then there are some extra dangers to look out for. 

Dangers on farms

These are some of the things that can cause injuries to children on farms:

  • driving a tractorFalls from machinery.
  • Loud noise, which can damage ears.
  • Unsafe use of guns.
  • Unsafe handling or storage of chemicals eg. fertilisers and weed killers, insecticides.
  • Being able to get to water, eg. dams, rivers or irrigation channels.
  • Tools and equipment left in the wrong place.
  • All the dangers which can be in a house.
  • Unsafe use of vehicles, eg. motorbikes, tractors, quad bikes and cars.
  • Playing in and around silos (where grain is stored).
  • Unsupervised driving of machinery.
  • Injuries from animals.
  • Playing in dangerous areas, eg. sandpits in the side of a hill, swampy ground.

Look around and see what else you might add to this list if you live on a farm.

What you can do
It can be good fun to work alongside parents or caregivers on the farm and you will see your parents turning their hand to all sorts of jobs. Some jobs may look pretty interesting and easy. You may be tempted to try them on your own. This is not a good idea unless you know how to keep yourself safe.

Keeping safe

Everyone on a farm works together. Keeping each other safe is a really good reason for working together. Here are some rules which are used on farms. Does your farm have some of these rules? Maybe you have other rules too. It depends on what sort of farm you have, doesn't it?

 Safety rules for farms.

  • Always turn off farm machinery if you are leaving it.
  • Leave safety equipment in place, eg. brakes and guards.
  • Take keys out and put them out of reach of young children.
  • Lock away all chemicals.
  • Keep guns locked away and ammunition should be kept in a different place.
  • Make sure water areas, eg. dams, are fenced off and the gate locked (small children like water).
  • Make sure wells, tanks and swimming pools are covered over or fenced.
  • climbing laddersLeave ladders locked up or lying flat on the ground.
  • Keep protective glasses, earmuffs, helmets and gloves in easy to reach places.
  • Always wear seat belts in cars, utes or trucks.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding quad bikes or horses.
  • Cover up and use sunscreen and hats in the sun.
  • Tell mum or dad if you notice something that could be dangerous, eg. worn electrical leads, worn tyres, broken machinery or tools.
  • Make sure no kids ride on tractors, as tractor roll-overs are one of the most common preventable causes of farm kids and adults being killed.
  • Put away portable machinery, eg. lawn mowers, out of the reach of children.
  • Always wear boots or strong shoes outside of the house.

Learn the skills

  • Get a responsible adult to show you how to do jobs they think you are
    big enough to do.
    driving a car
  • Do the jobs while they supervise in case you need help.
  • Never do a job unless mum or dad has asked you to do it, or given you that task before.
  • Learn all the skills you need and practise so that you can become safe, eg. using a knife, climbing trees, using the radio/telephone.

Know the rules for your family

  • What are the rules about water?
  • What do you do if someone is injured?
  • What are the rules for riding bikes or horses?
    riding a horse
  • When do you need to wear work clothes and use safety equipment?
  • Tell each other where you are going and when to expect you back.

Know the rules for an emergency

What are your family's emergency rules?

Farms can be dangerous places for everyone, so it is a good idea if you all know what to do in an emergency.

  • What to do if there's a fire or bushfire?
  • What to do if someone is injured?
  • What if animals get out on the road?
  • What if there's a flood?
  • What if you find something dangerous?
  • What if someone was bitten by a snake?
  • What if there are extreme weather conditions? (heat, cyclone, dust, flood, storm, fog etc.)
  • What are the emergency numbers that you may have to call?

If you're not sure what you would do in these or similar situations, then talk about it with your parents and work out an Emergency Action Plan. (It may look like the one you can print off at the end of this topic.)

Practise going through your plan until you are sure about what you need to do. It could save time and maybe someone's life in an emergency situation. Make sure that the emergency numbers are written next to the phone.

Learn about First Aid.
Have your family all done a First Aid course?
first aid

As soon as you are old enough (often around Year 5) it would be a good idea for you to do a basic first aid course. Ask mum or dad to do it with you so that you can practise on each other. It's a good idea to do a First Aid course every few years anyway, as there are always things that you may forget or new ways to do things.

First Aid means the action you take first of all to help someone. Taking the right action is very important.

Some children want to share their work with you

Emergency
Matters
Every
Rough
Germ
Eliminate
Nasty
Concussion
Yep!
Farm or city?
A farm kid has a lot to do.
Chores on the farm and school work too.
Riding a tractor or motor bike
Sounds like something that you'd like.
Looking after animals,
Helping mum and dad.
(Shovelling manure
Might be a bit bad!)
Farmers work hard,
Farm kids too.
City kids have different chores.
What kind of kid are you?

BH

Reminders

Your parents are responsible for your safety. On a farm the family often have to work together. You can help by learning the skills, being responsible when you are doing a task and keeping yourself safe.

Remind older brothers and sisters that alcohol and driving do not go well together. A lot of accidents happen because sometimes they forget.

On a farm everyone needs to look out for each other. Do your bit to make sure that you stay safe.

Dr Kim says:

Dr Kim
Wherever you live, in the country or in the city, there are lots of interesting things to do. Wherever you live, the most dangerous place for small children can be in the home. Help your parents to make your home a safer place for all of you.

Look at this site to learn about dialling 000. Remember that you only do this in an emergency.
http://kids.triplezero.gov.au/game.php?lang=en

Emergency action planner

click hereto get your Emergency Action Planner.

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.

 

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