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Tragically, each year about 10 children die on Australian farms as a result of injury, with most of those deaths resulting from incidents with quad bikes, drowning and injuries from machinery and animals.Drowning is the greatest risk for toddlers (birth to four years) usually in dams but rivers, creeks, pools, troughs, dips and water channels are also drowning hazards.
For older children (five to 14 years), quad bikes, working farm machinery, farm vehicles, motorcycles and horses are the biggest risks. Around one quarter of all children who die on farms are visitors.Children living on or visiting farms are at greater risk of injury or death because of the nature of the environment. Farms and rural properties are both a home and a workplace so children may be placed at great risk when playing or helping out. It is not always possible to remove the risk but adults must limit access to hazards for young children. As well as reducing the risks, it is vital to provide a safe and secure play area for young children indoors and outdoors.The “Safe Play Areas on Farms" resource booklet has good ideas for keeping kids safe, active and engaged from a child development point of view. A DVD is also available, showing how to create a safe play area. Call (02) 6452 5297 for a copy.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.