Injuries among children and youth in farm households: Regional rural injury study-I

Susan Goodwin Gerberich, R. W. Gibson, L. R. French, C. M. Renier, T. Y. Lee, W. P. Carr, J. Shutske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Objectives - The purpose of this effort was to identify the incidence and consequences of both farming and non-farming related injuries and the potential risk factors for farming related injuries among children and youth, aged 0-19 years, who lived in farm households in a large region of the United States. Methods - Data were collected from randomly selected farm households during 1990. Rates and rate ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for socio-demographic and exposure variables. Multivariate analyses were conducted, using a priori and backward stepwise logistic regression models. Results - Within the population of 3939 farm households and 13 144 persons, children and youth accounted for 33%. Injury rates for farming and non-farming sources, respectively, were 1683 and 6980 per 100 000 persons. Animals (40%) were the primary sources of the farming operation related injuries; sports/recreation sources (61%) were associated primarily with non-farming related injuries. Of the farming and non-farming operation related injury cases, 83% and 90%, respectively, required some type of health care; moreover, 17% and 24%, respectively,were restricted from regular activities for one month or more. Through multivariate analyses, important increased rate ratios were observed for operating a tractor, working with dairy cattle, and being male. Increased rate ratios for working with beef cattle, operating a harvester, and living on a farm where there were all terrain vehicles in use, and a decreased rate ratio for living on a farm where there were sheep, appeared suggestive. Conclusions - Based on the relevant rates, injury consequences, and potential risk factors identified, injuries to children and youth on farms represent a significant problem. Future analytic studies are essential to identify more specific risk factors that can serve as a basis for development of appropriate intervention efforts. Given the population at risk, and the opportunity for intervention in this unique occupational setting, many of these injuries may be readily amenable to prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalInjury Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2001


  • Agriculture
  • Farm
  • Risk factors
  • Surveillance

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