Farms are Dangerous Places for Kids to Work and Play
There are approximately two million farms in the U.S. There are also approximately 900,000 kids who live on farms, and more than half (51%) work on the farms where they live. Farms annually hire an additional 265,000 youth workers. Farms, however, are a dangerous place for kids to work and play, because of the high risk of injury from off-road vehicles, machinery and livestock.
The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety recently released a report card for farm deaths and injuries of kids that live and work on farms in the U.S. While the number of fatalities and injuries to farm kids, and hired youth workers are declining, safety is still something that farm owners and managers need to give careful, regular consideration.
The following are excerpts from the 2017 Fact Sheet on Childhood Agricultural Injuries in the U.S.
- Every three days, a child dies in an agriculture-related incident.
- Of the leading sources of fatalities among all youth, 25% involved machinery,17% involved motor vehicles (includes ATVs), and 16% were drownings.
- For working youth, tractors were the leading source of fatalities, followed by ATVs.
- Every day, about 33 children are injured in agriculture-related incidents.
- In 2014, an estimated 7,469 youth were injured on farms where they live, and 60% of them were not working when the injury occurred.
- An estimated 738 hired youth were injured on farms in 2014.
- Approximately 3,735 visiting youth were injured on farms in 2014.
- Vehicles were the leading source of injury for household working youth.
- Animals were the leading source of injury for both household non-working youth and visitors.
- While overall numbers of farm injuries are declining, injuries to kids who live on farms have held steady.
- Among kids who live on farms, injury rates increased in 2014 for youth 10-19 years.
- From 2003 to 2010, among workers younger than 16 years, the number of worker fatalities in agriculture was consistently higher than in all non-agricultural industries combined.