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Safe on the farm

10 October 2014

WHO would have thought that all those colourful children's books of pigs and chickens, horses, tractors, and life on the farm might need a health warning? "Farm safety", as far as I know, is not on the primary-school curriculum for schoolchildren in England, but it has been suggested for children in Ireland by the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association, a proposal that has been endorsed by the Church of Ireland Board of Education, based in Belfast, Down & Dromore diocese.

It wants health and safety in general as a school subject, but it wants particular emphasis on farm safety for children in rural areas. This, it says, is of concern to all those involved in farming, and is of "particular concern to the Church of Ireland community, given that a significant number of its members are engaged in farming".

The number of accidental deaths on farms in recent years displays "the absolute need for greater awareness among children and young people of the dangers on farms and from farming equipment."

The Board of Education says that the proposal needs particular consideration, given the frequent references to farm animals, farmyards, and farm life in the primary-level curriculum, and popular school textbooks.

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