The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, has received a competitive grant renewal of $6 million over five years from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to continue the center’s mission of childhood agricultural injury prevention.
In 2014, 11,942 people younger than 20 were injured on the farm, according to the Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey. The majority of injuries were transportation-related, followed by contact with objects.
"Childhood agricultural safety has never been more important than now during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Barbara Lee, Ph.D., National Children’s Center director. “Children are spending more time on farms, which can be positive from a family perspective, but it also increases their exposure to farm hazards and raises supervision challenges with home-schooling and closure of many child care centers.”
The National Children’s Center is one of 11 agricultural centers funded by NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the only center dedicated to childhood agricultural injury prevention.
Although the rate of non-fatal injuries to children in agriculture has declined since the National Children’s Center was established in 1997, agriculture remains hazardous for children and youth. About every three days, a child dies in an agriculture-related incident, and each day, about 33 children suffer preventable injuries. During the past decade, youth worker fatalities in agriculture have exceeded all other industries combined.
“By working with our partners in agriculture, including farm parents, businesses and organizations, we’re helping ensure that safety interventions and guidelines are sustained beyond the span of the grant period,” Lee said.
The new grant includes six distinct research studies, an outreach program, administrative and core leadership, and a national stakeholder advisory board. New studies being launched address youth operating ATVs for farm work, adolescent mental health, the impact of available childcare on safety practices, and other safety issues important to the agriculture community.