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Farm risks revealed for Queensland kids

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Farm risks revealed for Queensland kids

Farm risks revealed for Queensland kids

21 July 2022

Forty-six children and young people in Queensland have drowned in rural dams or died in quad bike and side-by-side vehicle accidents since 2004, according to data from the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) revealed during National Farm Safety Week 2022 (18 to 24 July).

QFCC Principal Commissioner Luke Twyford said the community needed to remain vigilant of the safety risks to children and young people on farms and rural properties.

“While rural properties can be adventurous places for children and young people to live and visit, sadly, our child death data suggests there can be fatal risks in these settings,” Mr Twyford said.

“Rural water hazards, including dams and troughs, are often not considered risks when they are located away from a family home; however, our child death data indicates otherwise, with 26 children younger than five having drowned in rural water hazards since 2004.

“While active child supervision is key to preventing drownings, it can’t be provided 24/7, which is why fenced play areas are critical in rural areas, along with early water education about “no-go areas”.

“Tragically we have seen 20 child deaths involving quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles since 2004. Eleven of these deaths were due to head injuries, with a helmet worn in only one of these incidents.

“Five children died in incidents involving side-by-side vehicles, three of whom were driving and two were passengers, but none were wearing seatbelts.

“The data also shows that 17 children died while riding adult-sized quad bikes or side-byside vehicles, with eight of the children aged between 10 and 14 years.”

Mr Twyford used National Farm Safety Week to urge the community to avoid becoming complacent when it came to preventable child deaths on rural properties.

“The familiarity of a home environment should not lead to complacency when it comes to the safety of our children,” Mr Twyford said.

“The safety of children needs to be prioritised—that means being actively aware of risks, talking to your child about dangers, setting and enforcing safety rules, and leading by example.”

The QFCC maintains Queensland’s child death register, which records the causes of all child deaths since 2004. The QFCC’s annual reports of child deaths can be viewed at www.qfcc.qld.gov.au


For media information contact:
Kirstine O’Donnell | Queensland Family and Child Commission
Phone: 0404 971 164
Email: kirstine.odonnell@qfcc.qld.gov.au


Deaths of children and young people by vehicle type and injury, 2004–May 2022


Injury type / vehicle Quad bike Side-by-side vehicle  Total
Head Injury 8 3 11
Asphyxia (including likely asphyxia) 3 1 4
Crush injury 1 0 1
Multiple injuries 1 0 1
Unspecified 1 0 1
Abdominal injury 0 1 1
Drowning 1 0 1
TOTAL 15 5 20