OBJECTIVE: Examine the current magnitude of the injury problem to children and adolescents on farms, and to compare these data to that from 1978-83. DATA SOURCES: US National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Multiple Cause of Death Tapes for the years 1991-3, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for data on emergency department visits for 1990-3. SUBJECTS: Children and adolescents 19 years and younger injured on farms. RESULTS: There were an average of 104 deaths per year due to injuries occurring on farms. The rate of 8.0 deaths per 100,000 child farm residents is 39% lower than in 1979-81. More of the deaths occurred in hospital than previously. There were an average of 22,288 emergency department treated injuries per year. The rate of 1717 injuries per 100,000 child farm residents is 10.7% higher than 1979-83. Males were injured more frequently than females. Tractors accounted for 20.9% of all injuries, followed by horses (8.4%), all terrain vehicles and minibikes (8.0%), and farm wagons (7.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Farm injuries continue to be a major problem to children living on farms. While improved medical care may have contributed to the reduction in mortality, the continued high rate of injuries warrants study of a variety of intervention strategies to reduce the injury toll. There is also a need for ongoing injury surveillance to provide accurate data on the farm injury problem.
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