Farm focus on child safety

30 Jul, 2003 10:00 PM
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ENSURING child safety on farms was a matter of conscientious parenting, according to WA Child Safety on Farms winner Christine Sadler.

Last week Farmsafe WA recognised the child friendly environment Mrs Sadler has created on her family's 3850ha Wongan Hills property.

Mrs Sadler and husband Don have successfully raised four children without farm-related injury, thanks to measures such as restricting play to near the house, making dams inaccessible and prohibiting travel on vehicle trays.

Mrs Sadler learnt the farm safety message through the CWA, where Farmsafe Australia information was readily available and guests often spoke on the topic.

"It's not only your children that you need to worry about, you have to be responsible for visiting children as well," Mrs Sadler said.

She said there had been tragedies on farms in her area.

"That's when it really hits home, when you think that it could have been me, that I use that equipment, it makes you try a lot harder.

"I think it needs reminding all the time because it has a lapse now and then, I know people in our area often forget about it."

Farmsafe Australia reports that approximately 30 children die on Australian farms each year, which makes up 20pc of all injury deaths on farms.

Children make up a similar proportion of hospital admissions, with 575 hospitalised last year for farm related injuries.

A checklist of farm dangers has been released, which formed the basis of the Child Safety on Farms competition.

Mrs Sadler successfully addressed the criteria covering safe play areas, water hazards, motorcycles, horses and farm vehicles.

The competition was run on a state and national basis. The national winners were Lyn and Graham Harvey of Cowra, NSW.

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