With many NI Primary and Secondary schools closing due to the Coronavirus and government guidance showing signs of them closing for an extended period of time, it’s important to reiterate putting safety measures in place for children and young people who live on farms.
If you are a farmer with children running about, there are a few simple suggested steps you can follow to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 along with general farm safety tips from the HSE.
Encourage your children to practice every day good hygiene and guide them on what they can do to prevent infection:
Urge them to wash hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds (singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star slowly takes about 20 seconds).
Make sure if they do sneeze, that the right thing to do is cover the mouth with a tissue sneeze into their elbow.
Do not share food or drinks.
Practice giving fist or elbow bumps instead of hugs. Fewer germs are spread this way.
On the Farm
Create a safe and secure place for the children to play, away from any farm activity and moving vehicles.
Ensure that all vehicles have clear and all-round visibility - who knows what little creature could be lurking around any corner or wheel!
Restrict all children under the age of 13 from driving on tractors and operating farming machinery.
Ensure that all heavy equipment and stacked equipment is secure to prevent them from toppling down.
When not in use, make sure that the slurry lagoon is properly closed and securely fenced off so children will not be able to gain access. Always ensure that children are not around when mixing slurry.
At all times, keep track of where family members are and know when they are expected back
Restrict access to dangerous parts of machinery and ensure that there are guards in places.
Create a plan, so that all family members know what to do in an emergency and prepare a list of emergency telephone numbers.