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How Farming is Contributing to The Child Mortality Rate

2 minute read

Believe it or not the most dangerous profession for children under the age of 16 is farming.  

Agriculture has the highest rate of workplace fatalities in Australia, this combined with 15% of all farm deaths being that of someone under the age of 16 years.  

Every five weeks a child dies from a preventable accident on a farm. 

The leading cause of these accidents is motor vehicles and farm machinery. A sense of familiarity with this equipment and a lack of road laws for farms has resulted in people taking risks they otherwise wouldn’t.  

While a large number of these deaths and injuries do happen while unsupervised, there is still a significant percentage taking place in the presence of adults.  

Many Australians have memories of riding in the back of a ute or driving a tractor as a child. This is most likely something that parents themselves have experienced as a child, normalising the practice within the community. Though parents are not solely to blame, on your own property, you can feel a sense of false security. But accidents do happen, and this is unfortunately where children can lose their lives.  

Quad bikes are commonly used on farms as a convenient mode of transport, with many farm kids riding on or even driving one before they are six years old. However, 80% of quad bike owners have admitted to accidentally flipping their bike while driving. That’s rough on an adult’s body, but even more so on a child’s.  

With 25% of farm deaths being visitors to the property it’s important to inform your child of these safety precautions regardless of where you live. 

To help end these preventable deaths people need to ensure that they are talking to their children about farm safety. 

Key points: 

  • Wear a helmet  
  • Stay away from machinery 
  • Never go near moving equipment 
  • Do not touch anything you have not been shown how to use 
  • Always ask an adult before approaching unfamiliar equipment or areas 

Farms are a quintessential element of life in Australia, we just want to keep them a happy place.  

For more information about ways to help keep children safe on farms please go to: 

Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) 

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