Each year on farms in the United States, an alarming number of youth less than 20 years of age are killed, injured, or permanently disabled. Children''s involvement on farms is unique because youth not only actively work from an early age, but live and play on farms. Children are exposed to safety hazards from farm machinery, livestock, agricultural chemicals, structures, and bodies of water. Electrical hazards and firearms may also be present on farms. Twenty-seven percent of the 4.6 million farm residents in the United States are youth less than 20 years old. Farm residents make up the largest population of youth exposed to farm safety hazards. However, relatives and friends of farm families, hired farm workers, or migrant workers may also be present on farms and exposed to similar hazards. Youth may also be involved in recreational activities on farms that expose them to safety hazards. Although the exact number of youth exposed to farm hazards annually is unknown, it has been estimated at more than two million. National data on fatal farm injuries occurring to youth and adolescents in the United States are limited. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) indicate that from 1979 through 1981, an average of 300 youth died on farms annually. Farm machines caused one-third of these deaths among youth less than 20 years old, and were responsible for half the deaths among youth under 10 years of age. A similar analysis for the years 1991 through 1993 demonstrates that fatal injuries on farms were reduced to 104 deaths annually, but the substantial contribution of farm machinery to these deaths did not change. Drowning incidents accounted for one-fourth of the total deaths, and one-third of the deaths among youth less than 5 years old. Few state-specific studies of fatal farm injuries of youth have been conducted. To prevent fatal farm injuries of youth in the United States, it is important to identify the leading causes of fatal injuries at the national level to guide broad-based prevention efforts. In addition, identifying the major causes of death at the regional and state level will guide efforts by state and community groups to address specific problems in their areas. Throughout the United States, geographic differences exist in agricultural populations, practices, and production. Additionally, exposure patterns differ among states, and also vary among population groups within the states. To date, regional and state-level data on childhood farm injuries in the United States have not been published. By addressing this gap, the data in this report may help policy makers, safety advocates, and the general public become more aware of major childhood farm safety issues in their states and regions, and may be useful to stakeholders as they develop prevention strategies specific to their needs.
Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Accident-rates; Accidents; Accident-statistics; Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-machinery; Agricultural-chemicals; Electrical-hazards; Farmers; Families; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Age-factors; Age-groups; Sex-factors; Racial-factors; Surveillance