Work-in-progress that identifies mismatches between children's developmental levels and the outdoor play areas of rural day-care settings was reported. Outdoor environmental hazards were posited to be more prevalent in rural areas due to less-stringent zoning, variations of lifestyle, undereducation, high unemployment, and suboptimal health and safety standards. These environmental hazards include electric fences, farm animals, agricultural chemicals, firearms, tools, manure pits, unfenced ponds, and machinery. Principles of child development and of epidemiology were used to construct an outdoor injury hazard matrix. The Haddon Matrix was used as the basis of our matrix. Our matrix illustrated how children in rural settings might experience injuries different from those occurring in urban settings. Examples include entrapment, poisoning, falls, electrocution, burns, animal injuries, asphyxiation, and dismemberment. We believe that many risks of farm-based day care are unrecognized by persons who set standards. It remains unclear whether existing child-care standards are adequate in protecting children who receive care on family farms. We presented a checklist for evaluating sentinel hazards in outdoor play areas in rural settings. Methods to quantify the magnitude of these hazards in rural day care are under way.
Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Families; Farmers; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health; Environmental-protection; Safety-climate; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Health-hazards; Health-protection; Health-standards; Child-care-workers; Children; Outdoors; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Animals; Fall-protection; Fire-hazards; Fire-prevention; Fire-protection; Fire-safety; First-aid; Education
K. F. Townley, Department of Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY