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Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks Demonstrate Effectiveness

March 2011
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2011-129

A black and white photograph of a young worker in a field with approximately ten cows.

A Story of Impact:

Farms have been recognized as a hazardous environment for adults and youth. Youth living on farms are not only exposed to hazards while working, but also by merely residing on the farm.

An estimated 1.03 million children and adolescents younger than 20 years of age resided on farms in 2010, with 15,011 youth injured on farms.1 On average, 113 youth die annually from farm-related injuries (1995-2002).2 Of the leading sources of fatal injuries to youth on U.S. farms, 23% involved machinery (includes tractors), 19% involved motor vehicles (includes all-terrain vehicles [ATVs]), and 16% were due to drowning.2

At the request of farm parents seeking guidance in assigning appropriate work to youth, the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety created the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT).3 NAGCAT was based on child development principles and matched a child’s physical, mental, and psychosocial abilities with the requirements of specific farm work. The NAGCAT initiative is a model for effective public-private partnership. It was funded primarily by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); however, continued funding, resources, and partnership with the private sector has allowed for greater awareness and dissemination of NAGCAT.

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References

For more information, visit the National Children’s Center Web site at
www.marshfieldclinic.org/nccrahsand the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at www.cdc.gov/niosh.

  1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Trends in childhood agricultural nonfatal injury rates, 1998-2009. Internal analysis of the Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey (CAIS) surveillance system. Morgantown, WV: 2010.
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Agricultural Safety. 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/.
  3. Lee B, Marlenga B, eds. Professional Resource Manual: North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks. Marshfield, WI: Marshfield Clinic; 1999. Available at: www.nagcat.org.
  4. Gadomski A, Ackerman S, Burdick P, Jenkins P. Efficacy of the North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks in Reducing Childhood Agricultural Injuries. Am J Public Health, 2006; 96 (4): 722-727.
  5. Marshfield Clinic. Childhood Agricultural Injury Rates Continue to Decline. 2010. Press Release available at: http://www.marshfieldclinic.org/patients/?page=newsreleases&id=4311.
 
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