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Sunday 31 August 2014

Parents warned on farm deaths

Aideen Sheehan

Published 08/03/2014 | 02:30

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Minister for Agriculture: Simon Coveney. Photo: Damien Eagers
Minister for Agriculture: Simon Coveney. Photo: Damien Eagers

Farmers have been warned about carrying children as passengers in large agricultural vehicles as part of a new drive to improve safety.

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Almost 30 children died in accidents on Irish farms over the course of a decade. There were four child fatalities last year, highlighting the need for parents to be alert to dangers, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has warned.

All farmers across the country are being posted farm-safety information with their Single Farm Payment details this week in a bid to highlight the need for greater vigilance on farms.

"Farming continues to be the most dangerous occupation in Ireland, with an average of 20 fatalities per year over the past four years. Already in 2014 there have been a number of fatalities on our farms," Mr Coveney said.

He warned that a farmyard might seem like a playground to a child, who couldn't be expected to see the dangers.

Aaron O'Donnell was just 13 when he got his foot caught in the hatch of a tractor when he was helping his father on the family farm. He lost two toes as a result of the accident and was in and out of hospital with an infection.

"Whenever I go on holidays, I worry about who's going to see my foot, how they're going to react and are girls going to notice," said Aaron.

His father and mother, Stephen and Catherine, said parents should always supervise their children on farms very closely in order to avoid accidents.

Irish Independent

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