Children, teens face hazards in agriculture settings: study

March 14, 2012

Elk Grove Village, IL – An annual average of nearly 27,000 injuries occurred to children and teens younger than 19 who lived or worked on a farm during a five-year period, according to a new study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Researchers studied data from the Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey from 2001 to 2006 and found that agriculture-related injuries were more serious than those incurred while living or working in non-agriculture settings. They also found that youth and adolescents living or working on farms were 10 times more likely to be injured compared with the national average injury rate of 1.4 percent for this age group. An average of 84 agriculture-related fatalities occurred each year of the study, with machine-related incidents making up the largest category.

The researchers recommend children working and living in these settings be given development-appropriate work tasks, be better supervised and be restricted from participating in injury-prone activities on the farm.

The study was published online in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics.