An Athlone student has won the regional prize in a special Health and Safety Authority competition on farm safety.
Perica Bosic, a fifth class student at St Mary's NS, Athlone, was the overall winner in the Athlone Education Centre catchment area.
Frank Walsh, Director of Athlone Education Centre and Edwin White, Inspector, Health and Safety Authority presented Perica with his prize money of €100 and €250 for his school.
The competition was aimed at raising awareness of child safety on farms and children were asked to draw or paint a poster and slogan, highlighting the dangers on farms. The winning posters and slogans will be published in a Health and Safety Authority calendar for 2013 which will be sent to all schools later in the year.
Joanne Harmon, Education Manager with the Health and Safety Authority said, "We're delighted to present the winners with their well-deserved prize money. It's so important for children to become aware of the dangers on farms, especially coming into the summer season when they are off school and around the farm or visiting farms. Six children have died in farm accidents over the past four years. The tragedy of a child's death at the place where a family lives and earns their livelihood is an unimaginable horror that we must all be vigilant to prevent. "Farms are dangerous places for children as they combine both home and workplace and unfortunately, children continue to get injured and die in farm accidents. What can seem like a playground full of adventure for a child can bring devastating consequences for families. The lines can get blurred between work and safe play areas. Particular risk areas for children include moving tractors, machinery and quad bikes, slurry tanks, hazards at height including hay barns, animals and the storage of chemicals.
Frank Walsh, Director of Athlone Education Centre, said: "We are delighted to be associated with a competition like this which is promoting the health and well-being of children such as safety on the farm. We have had a huge response to the competition and children respond well to being educated about the risks around them. They raised their own awareness of safety on the farm as well as bringing the safety message home to parents.'