21st August 2014
ICSA president Patrick Kent has called for health and safety education to be included in the primary school curriculum, with a particular emphasis on farm safety for children in rural areas.
“What lesson is there that is more important than how to stay alive?” asked Mr. Kent. “There is room in subjects like Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) to include a module on health and safety, and in rural areas, this could be focussed on farm safety. Even in urban areas, there are children who go out to visit friends or relations on farms, and such knowledge would also be very beneficial to them. Children, along with older farmers, are most at risk when it comes to farm accidents, and the younger they become aware of these issues, the better.”
“Formally teaching young children about safety issues would also have wider benefits,” continued Mr. Kent. “The voice of a child pointing out that something is dangerous will have far more impact on a parent than all the DVDs and courses available. We must start with the very youngest if we are serious about reducing farm accidents and fatalities through education, and ICSA is calling on Minister Coveney to explore this with the Minister for Education and Skills as a matter of urgency.”