Good News on Childhood Injury

Good News on Childhood Injury

Rate of injury of children on farms shows 60% decline in last decade.

The rate of childhood injury on farms and ranches has declined by nearly 60 percent since 1998, an encouraging sign that research and public awareness efforts are making an impact in one of the nation's most hazardous industries.

"This marked decline is a testament to the dedicated efforts of many individuals, organizations and agribusiness sponsors, along with federal agency leadership," said Barbara Lee, Ph.D., director of the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield, Wis. "Injuries and deaths affecting children on farms are no longer viewed as unavoidable accidents, but rather as predictable and preventable events."

The rate of injuries fell 59 percent, from 16.6 to 6.8 per 1,000 farms (includes all children who live on, visit, or are hired to work on farms), during the period 1998-2009. Injury rates calculated for just youth who live on farms also showed a significant decline, from 18.8 to 9.9 per 1,000 farms, or 47.3 percent, according to a scientific survey conducted by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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