With schools closed, more children will be staying at home on the farms and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding farmers that children should be kept safely away from any work activities.

Every year children are killed or seriously injured during agricultural work activities, most of which are family members. Last year, two children (both aged 3) were killed on farms in incidents that could have been prevented.

HSE advises the following:

• Keep children out of work areas - play areas should be secure and away from the work area

• If children are in a work area, they must be closely supervised by an adult who isn’t involved in any work

• Children under the age of 13 years are specifically prohibited from driving or riding on any agricultural machine

• Keep children out of pens, out of handling facilities and well away when animals are being moved or handled.

HSE’s acting head of agriculture, Adrian Hodkinson, said: “We should always separate our work life from our home life and farming should be no different to any other job.

"Farms are full of hazards – vehicles and other machines, large animals, deep lagoons, a variety of chemicals and hazardous dusts – they are not a place for children, unless risk is very carefully managed.

“Not only would causing harm to a child be devastating for the family, part of the reason we must stay home during the coronavirus pandemic is to protect the NHS and avoid burdening services with injuries and issues that are avoidable.

"Farm work should stop immediately if an unsupervised child appears in any work area.”