Rural Youth Disability Prevention Project Survey: Results From 169 Iowa Farm Fatalities

  • Donham, Kelley J.;
  • Gay, Jane;
  • Hawk, Cheryl


Agriculture is now the most hazardous occupation in the United States and it is the only one in which children not only comprise a significant part of the work force, but also live and play at the work site. Annually, 23,500 pediatric agricultural injuries are reported, with nearly 300 fatalities (Rivara, 1985). The Rural Youth Disability Prevention Project was designed to use innovative, community-oriented methods to address the unique problems of child safety in agriculture. Toward this e d, a survey instrument was designed to gather data both to assist in program development and to serve as a pretest for the subsequent evaluation. Analysis of these data indicated several issues to target for intervention efforts. One is lack of supervision--more than 40 percent of children who operate equipment do so unsupervised. Approximately 30 percent of children more than 3 years old play alone in work areas, and 80 percent of these children play near machinery in operation. Another issue is operation of farm machinery by very young children--respondents' children began operating equipment at an average a e of 12 years. Coupling this with the finding that the parents believe their children are not capable of operating equipment until age 15 exemplifies the most important issue, the disparity between parents' levels of safety knowledge and safety behavior. Using the survey data to increase local involvement, efforts are being directed toward facilitating an ongoing, community-sponsored intervention program to empower farm families to effect their own solutions.


JOURNAL: J Rural Health. 1991; 7(2): 170-179.

Note: The Journal of Rural Health.

NLOM ID#: 92194257 .

Publication #: 92194257

This document was extracted from the CDC-NIOSH Epidemiology of Farm Related Injuries: Bibliography With Abstracts, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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