School's Out, Give Farm Safety a Big Shout!
As part of a national awareness raising effort, the Health and Safety Authority are appealing to Primary teachers to make the last message given to children before the summer break a farm safety message. This is a high risk time for children on farms and the HSA are asking for your help in preventing a child in your school from being seriously injured or dying in a farm accident this summer. You may be visiting farms on school trips this month, which presents an ideal opportunity for exploring Farm Safety in the classroom.
In the past decade (2007-2016), farm accidents have claimed the lives of 23 children. These are dreadful tragedies for families and heart-breaking for communities and schools alike. It is important that children from both farming and non-farming backgrounds hear these messages as holidays are a high risk time for children who are off school and spend a lot of time on their family farm or visiting friends' and relatives' farms. It is also a very busy time for farmers when much work needs to be done.
In the last few weeks of school, teachers are asked to do the following:
Highlight the resources developed to give key farm safety messages in 30 minutes. These include a set of seven PowerPoint slides, specifically developed for use in all Primary classes. Teachers can use them with their whiteboards or print off to photocopy. The last slide contains links to further HSA farm safety resources on the HSA website, which include a series of short Farm Safety videos involving children on their farms. In addition to this, the HSA's dedicated e-learning portal contains a short interactive course for Primary students called Keep Safe on the Farm (40 minute online course suitable for the whiteboard).
Farm safety is an explicit topic in the SPHE curriculum at Primary level. Schools can make a real difference to children by equipping them with the skills to keep them safe on the farm and encouraging them to bring the safety message home to Parents and Grandparents. Teachers are asked to join with the HSA in helping to prevent children from dying on farms this summer. By working together, we can bring a positive safety message home to them and their families. The last message they receive before the summer break could save lives.