Do parents' perceptions of risks protect children engaged in farm work?
Zentner J; Berg RL; Pickett W; Marlenga B
Prev Med 2005 Jun; 40(6):860-866
Background: The purpose was to describe farm parents' perceptions of risks on their farms and determine if these perceptions were associated with (1) using of the North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) and (2) making NAGCAT recommended changes to enhance the safety of farm work for their children. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of data collected by telephone interview during a randomized trial that involved 450 farms in the United States and Canada. Results: While 81% of farm parents perceived farming to be more dangerous than other occupations, only 66% of those parents felt that it was more dangerous for children to work on a farm than at other work. Furthermore, risk perception scores were only weakly associated with parents' use of NAGCAT and making NAGCAT recommended safety changes. Conclusion: Even with voluntary safety guidelines in hand and the general perception of farming as a dangerous occupation, many farm parents were not actively using NAGCAT to reduce the exposure of their children to hazardous farm work. Together with the continuing morbidity and mortality among farm children, this suggests that voluntary guidelines alone may not be sufficient to protect children working on farms.
Agricultural-workers; Children; Risk-factors; Farmers; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-accidents; Safety-practices
National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449, USA Department of Biostatistics, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, WI 54449, USA
Marshfield Medical Research & Education Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin