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Pickett W, King N, Marlenga B, Lawson J, Hagel LM, Elliot V, Dosman JA. Paediatr. Child Health (1996) 2018; 23(7): e143-e149.


Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


(Copyright © 2018, Canadian Paediatric Society, Publisher Pulsus Group)








BACKGROUND: Children are commonly injured on farms, yet no studies provide evidence about exposures that leave rural children visiting farms at risk.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to study (a) how frequently rural nonfarm children are exposed to farms, farm work and associated activities; and (b) the safety conditions and practices on farms being visited.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered in Saskatchewan, Canada to rural parents during 2014. Participation included reports on 458 farms visited by rural children, and then 549 children from 312 families who had been exposed to a farm in the past year. Child-level indicators included age, sex, farm safety education and training, engagement in farm work and play activities and exposure to specific farm safety hazards. Farm-level indicators included self-perceived safety conditions, and child supervision practices.

RESULTS: One-third of the children sampled (n=549) had been exposed to a farm in the past year. Safety conditions, practices and supervision varied by demographic subgroup. Farm safety education and agriculture training were most common in the oldest age group (13 to 17 years; 24.7% and 9.2%, respectively) of which 40.8% had worked on a farm previously, averaging 10 hours/week (interquartile range 3 to 20) during summer months. Mechanized and nonmechanized work was observed for children of both sexes and rose with age. Physical hazards were reported both proximally (≤100 yards) and distally (>300 yards) to farm homes.

CONCLUSIONS: Children who visit farms are potentially exposed to risk, and these risks increase with age as children take on formal work roles, leaving them vulnerable to farm injury.

Language: en


Agriculture; Child; Epidemiology; Farm; Pediatric; Work


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