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
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.