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Start Em' Young | Summer on the Farm

27 June 2019

Summer is a busy time the year and with kids off school and roaming around the family farm, it can be particularly dangerous time for them to be wandering about.

Tragically, fatal accidents involving children on farms have been all too common on our farms over the years and as a parent or guardian, there are number of things you can do to help prevent children from having an accident:

• Prevent kids from playing around livestock and create a safe and secure area for them to play in.

• Prevent all children under 13 years from riding on tractors and farm machinery.

• Ensure slurry lagoons are securely fenced and always keep them away when slurry is being mixed.

• Make sure hands are washed before eating and drinking.

• Make sure all family members know what to do in event of an emergency and prepare a list of emergency telephone numbers.

• Keep chemicals out of the way and inform children of the dangers of playing in certain parts of the farm.

If the above guidelines are followed, children can help out on the farm in a safe secure way and it’s a great way to get them out into the fresh air instead of watching TV and playing video games all day.

Below are a few things you can get kids to do around the homestead:

Farm Chores for Young Children 6+

Young children are natural helpers and are eager to get involved so here are some simple safe jobs they can get involved in:

•  If you have poultry, younger children can help collect eggs, feed and water the flock.

•  They can help you in the garden by aiding you with weeding and watering.

•  Teaching basic skills around livestock is important at a young age, therefore under supervision, they can help you feed and water the different types of livestock.

•  If you have small animals, they can also help you brush them and bottle feed animals.

Farm Chores for Older Children 12+

As children get older, they can be taught a sense of responsibility by looking after the wellbeing of animals by:

• Helping to milk cows and if you teach them signs of distressed animals, you can help them ensure the herd are healthy and looked after.

• Taking up gardening tasks like mowing the lawn and painting fences.

•  Cleaning out and scrubbing down animal feeders, barns and hutches. 

•  Assisting with the births of farm animals and aiding the movement of animals to new pastures.

•  Helping with maintaining equipment and machinery.