The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS), part of the National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC), was established in 1997 with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NCCRAHS is one of 11 NIOSH-funded Agricultural Centers, and the only center that is both national in scope and dedicated to childhood agricultural injury prevention.
NCCRAHS recognizes the benefits of children living and working on farms and ranches and strives to enhance the health and safety of children and youth in these environments. Although the rate of non-fatal injuries to children in agriculture has dropped by 60 percent in the U.S. since NCCRAHS’ inception in 1997, agriculture remains one of our nation’s most hazardous industries, especially for children and youth.
Agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in our nation, and the only worksite in the U.S. where children of any age can be present. These five injury statistics illustrate why we need to address the risks that agriculture can pose for our children:
Leading causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries include machinery (e.g. tractors and skid steers), vehicles (e.g. ATVs), animals, falls, and drownings. These injuries cost society billions of dollars each year and just one farm-related injury can wipe out a farm’s annual profits in days.
NCCRAHS has developed strategies, guidelines, and resources that can be used to reduce the number of injuries to youth on farms and ranches. Safety strategies include keeping kids away from tractors, keeping young children out of the agricultural worksite, ensuring work is age/ability appropriate, assessing and addressing hazards, and providing appropriate training and supervision. Some of the center’s most popular resources are highlighted below.
|1||Agricultural Work Youth Guidelines||Guidelines to help farm parents and supervisors assign tasks based on worker ability are available at CultivateSafety.org/work|
|2||Safe Play||Resources for creating safe play areas on farms are available at CultivateSafety.org/play|
|3||Integrating Safety Into Agritourism||Agritourism resources, guidelines, checklists, and signs are available at SafeAgritourism.org|
|4||Ag Injury News||www.AgInjuryNews.org allows users to search for injury reports using variables like age, injury agent, year and more. Resources for preventing similar injuries are linked to the reports.|
|5||Childhood Agricultural Safety Network||Visit https://cultivatesafety.org/CASN for information and resources from a coalition of organizations working together to keep children safe on the farm.|
These resources, along with online tools and numerous other materials to help farmers and farm supervisors safeguard themselves, their children and their employees are available in the Resource Library on the Cultivate Safety website.
The Cultivate Safety website was developed by NCCRAHS and NFMC to provide easy access to agricultural safety information and resources for farmers, ranchers, farm supervisors and the media. Cultivate Safety addresses injury incidence and causes, benefits of farm work, safeguarding non-working and working youth, and provides access to online tools. In addition, the resource library contains hundreds of resources to help farmers and ranchers protect themselves, their families, and their employees. All online tools and resources are free.
Funding for the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety is provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U54 OH009568).
Director: Barbara Lee, RN, PhD