Fatal and Nonfatal Farm Injuries to Children and Adolescents in the United States

  • Rivara, Frederick P.


Agriculture is the second most dangerous occupation in the United States, and unlike other occupations, children make up a significant portion of the work force. This study presents national data on the morbidity and mortality due to farm injuries to children and adolescents <=19 years of age. Data sources used were 1979 to 1981 mortality statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, farm injuries treated in emergency rooms as reported to National Electronic Injury Surveillance system (1979 to 1983), farm deaths investigated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the 1980 census. Nearly 300 children and adolescents die each year from farm injuries, and 23,500 suffer nonfatal trauma. The fatality rate increases with age of the child; the rate for 15- to 19-year-old boys is double that of young children and 26-fold higher than for girls. More than half (52.5%) die without ever reaching a physician; an additional 19.1% die in transit to a hospital, and only 7.4% live long enough to receive inpatient care. The most common cause of fatal and nonfatal injury is farm machinery. Tractors accounted for one half of these machinery-related deaths, followed by farm wagons, combines, and forklifts. Overall, 10% of children with nonfatal injuries require hospitalization, and one in 30 children younger than age of 5 years with a farm injury is hospitalized or dies. The magnitude of the problem requires the evaluation of a number of preventive strategies including legislation and improvement of emergency care in rural areas.


JOURNAL: Pediatrics 1985; 76(4): 567-573.

Note: Pediatrics.

NLOM ID#: 86015850 .

Publication #: 86015850

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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