Keeping kids safe around farm vehicles and horses

As we all know, raising our kids on farms can present a range of dangers and potential hazards.

It is always important to identify these risks to children and to keep them front of mind, so that we minimise the potential for accidents.

Quad bike related accidents, along with drowning, are the leading cause of on-farm deaths for children.

Importantly, children under the age of 16 should never ride or be a passenger on an adult quad bike.

When it comes to farms, the most common causes of accidents leading to the hospitalisation of children are farm motor bikes and horse riding accidents. Below are 10 safety tips on how to better manage these two risks:

Horse riding:

  1. Ensure children are appropriately supervised by a competent person around horses.
  2. Match the horse and child to the intended activity. Take the child’s age and ability into consideration, as well as the background and history of the horse.
  3. Ensure that any child who is going to ride a horse is capable of listening to and following instructions.
  4. Always wear an Australian Standardhelmet (AS/NZ 3838:2006 Helmets for horse riding and horse-related activities) or equivalent and suitable enclosed footwear while riding.
  5. Provide a safe environment. For example, create out-of-bounds areas to ensure children only ride in safe and supervised areas.

Farm vehicles:

  1. Supervise children when riding motor bikes.
  2. Restrict motor bikes to the appropriate size – can they lift the bike unaided and place their feet on the ground whilst stationary?
  3. Create out-of-bounds areas to ensure children only ride in safe and supervised areas.
  4. Children must always wear a suitable helmet, long pants and sturdy footwear.
  5. Never allow children under 16 to ride an adult sized quad bike.

For more information on how to keep children safe on the farm follow the links below, check out Child safety on farms and Farmsafe – Children on Farms.

(Data and information via Farmsafe)