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Guidelines for children's work in agriculture: implications for the future.

Marlenga B; Lee BC; Pickett W
J Agromedicine 2012 Apr; 17(2):140-148
The North American Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (NAGCAT) were developed to assist parents in assigning developmentally appropriate and safe farm work to their children aged 7-16 years. Since their release in 1999, a growing body of evidence has accumulated regarding the content and application of these guidelines to populations of working children on farms. The purpose of this paper is to review the scientific and programmatic evidence about the content, efficacy, application, and uptake of NAGCAT and propose key recommendations for the future. The methods for this review included a synthesis of the peer-reviewed literature and programmatic evidence gathered from safety professionals. From the review, it is clear that the NAGCAT tractor guidelines and the manual material handling guidelines need to be updated based upon the latest empirical evidence. While NAGCAT do have the potential to prevent serious injuries to working children in the correct age range (7-16 years), the highest incidence of farm related injuries and fatalities occur to children aged 1-6 years and NAGCAT are unlikely to have any direct effect on this leading injury problem. It is also clear that NAGCAT, as a voluntary educational strategy, is not sufficient by itself to protect children working on farms. Uptake of NAGCAT has been sporadic, despite being geographically widespread and has depended, almost solely, on a few interested and committed professionals. Key recommendations for the future are provided based upon this review.
Agriculture; Agricultural-workers; Agricultural-industry; Children; Task-performance; Work-performance; Work-practices; Farmers; Families; Safety-climate; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Adolescents; Safety-research; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Tractors; Manual-materials-handling; Safety-programs; Author Keywords: Agriculture; child; wounds and injuries; young workers
Barbara Marlenga, PhD, National Farm Medicine, 1000 North Oak Avenue, Marshfield, WI 54449, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Agriculture
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U54-OH-009568; B10242012
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of Agromedicine
Performing Organization
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division