Child Safety On Farms During Summer Months

As the summer holidays approach, Child Safety on Farms Week (22 to 28 June) is a reminder to farming families and visitors to be extra careful. The dangers associated with farming cannot be overstated – farms can be one of the most dangerous playgrounds for children during the summer months.

Increased risks

The summer poses increased risks to children, as they typically spend more time on the farm during what is a very busy and potentially hazardous period. Various contractors may be on site operating potentially dangerous vehicles and machinery.

Some of the main risks include:

  • moving vehicles such as tractors, quads and harvesters
  • farm animals
  • infectious diseases
  • harmful substances
  • slurry tanks
  • falling objects

As a parent there are a number of things you can do to help prevent your child having an accident, such as:

  • providing a securely-fenced play area for young children with enough toys to keep them busy
  • making sure children are kept out of the farmyard and fields unless they are constantly under the close and direct supervision of a responsible adult
  • educating children about the dangers to look out for

Parents are strongly advised to take a few moments to watch the following child farm safety videos along with their children, and discuss how to have a happy and safe summer on the farm.

‘Farm Safe for eight to 11-year-olds’  

‘Dangerous Playgrounds for four to eight-year-olds’

You can find out more about farm safety, with further links through to relevant information, at the page below:

Farm safety checklist for parents

As a parent:

  • do you have a safe and secure play area for young children?
  • do you prevent children from playing in or around farmyards and livestock?
  • do you prevent all children under 13 years from riding on tractors and farm machinery?
  • do you restrict the use of the quad and provide suitable safety equipment?
  • do you secure all heavy wheels, gates, heavy equipment and stacked materials to prevent them from toppling over?
  • is your slurry lagoon securely fenced to prevent children from gaining access and do you make sure tank covers are always in place?
  • do you always keep children well away when mixing slurry?
  • do you keep track of where family members are playing or working and when they are expected back?
  • do you make sure everyone washes their hands before eating and drinking?
  • do you keep chemicals locked in a secure store when not in use?
  • do you make sure that guards are in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery?
  • have you made sure all family members know what to do in an emergency?
  • have you prepared a list of emergency contact telephone numbers?

You can find more information about child safety on farms at the following link:

In the last 10 years, three children have died as a result of farm accidents in Northern Ireland.