The biggest risk to children on farms is drowning, especially for children younger than five years of age.
The biggest risk to children on farms is drowning, especially for children younger than five years of age. Contributed

Sobering stats show need to keep kids safe

CHILDREN under the age of 15 make up about 20% of on-farm injury fatalities and are over represented in all on-farm injuries.

The sobering statistic is one the National Farmers' Federation and Farmsafe Australia are highlighted during this year's Farm Safety Week.

Farmsafe Australia chairman Charles Armstrong is calling on farmers to reverse the trend.

"We want all farmers to be pro-active and take the steps that we know can protect our farmers of the future,” Mr Armstrong said.

The biggest risk to children on farm is drowning, especially for children younger than five years of age.

However, other major issues include quads, machinery and vehicles.

"There are very clear things we can do to protect our children,” Mr Armstrong said.

"It's not about wrapping them up in cotton wool, it is about taking sensible steps to reduce the chance of things going wrong,” Mr Armstrong said.

"A key requirement for all farms is to have a secure safe play area for children under five 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, about 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 children under 16 years do not ride, or be carried as passengers, on quads of any size.

"Last year three children were killed as a result of quad bikes incidents.”

" Put simply, the risk is not worth it.

"Kids don't have the physical size, strength, co-ordination or emotional maturity to safely operate such a dangerous piece of equipment.”

Medical organisations indicate that quads of

any size should not be ridden by children under 16 years.

"The two things you can do straight away for young children that may live on, or visit your farm, is to make sure you have a secure safe play area and do not allow children on quads.”

" This may not make you popular but sometimes as the expression goes, you need to be 'cruel to be kind'.

"Nobody likes to see children in these incidents, so let's fix these issues for everyone.”



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