Northern Southland pupils have learned how to use their “think safe brain” at a health and safety day at Riversdale.

About 250 pupils took part in the Think Safe Brain Campaign and spent time at 13 modules which included safety around animals, guns, farm machinery, vehicles, motorbikes power lines, chemicals, fire and trailers and practical first aid.

The campaign was developed by former primary school teacher Harriet Bremner-Pinckney who now farms near Manapouri.

Mrs Bremner-Pinckney said despite the emphasis on farm health and safety in the past 10 years statistics showed people were still injured or killed.

“I am wanting to flip health and safety as we know it on its head and target children using them as advocates for changes and behaviours.”

Teaching moment. . . NSVets nurse Ashleigh Stewart and Chubs the dog teach northern Southland pupils about animal safety at the Think Safe Brain Campaign day at the Riversdale sports ground last Thursday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Her goal was for children to grow up having tools which would hopefully better prepare them to be safe on farms.

That included knowing where to get help if they were struggling with their mental health and knowing how to make the best decision they could in each circumstance they found themselves in.

“We can’t obviously teach children every single thing they will come across in life but if we teach them to use their ‘think safe’ brain, we can teach them to be really good decision-makers and try and abolish this ‘she’ll be right attitude’ that we do tend to see among farmers.”

People assumed accidents would never happen to them, she said.

“They can and they do. It’s the thing we do every single day that tends to hurt us.”

The day would give children skills and tools to teach their parents at home.

“It’s real life stuff that they’re learning.

“It’s practical and it makes sense and the children can relate to it.”

Two of the children’s books she has written use dog characters to tell a safety message and sponsors had made it possible for the children to take home the two books.

“It’s a more fun engaging way to talk about this stuff.”

The children could also meet Poppy the dachshund who features in the books.

The children are also given a work book to help back up the message.

Riversdale School parent Jenna Orpwood helped co-ordinate the day.

As she was walking around the modules she had heard good feedback about the activities, Mrs Orpwood said.

“The kids are loving it.

“They’re getting stuck in, getting hands-on practical learning rather than sitting in a classroom.”

[email protected]