USA: National Children’s Center releases 2012 Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture – NFMC Press Release

Home / Agriculture / USA: National Children’s Center releases 2012 Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture – NFMC Press Release

USA: National Children’s Center releases 2012 Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture – NFMC Press Release

Marshfield, Wisconsin – National Farm Medicine Center’s National Children’s Center has released its 2012 Blueprint for Protecting Children in Agriculture. This National Action Plan takes an updated look at preventing childhood agricultural injury and death.

The Blueprint endeavor builds upon the 1996 plan that launched a national initiative leading to a remarkable reduction in nonfatal injuries among children who live on, visit and work on farms. The 2012 Blueprint re-sets priorities to reflect changes in agricultural production and worker profiles. The Blueprint is a product of input from the general public as well as leading researchers in childhood agricultural safety and health. Draft versions of goals and strategies were critiqued by nearly 100 stakeholders, and then posted online to solicit further public input.

The 38-page report emphasizes the need for:

  • Affordable, accessible and high quality child care options for farm families and hired farm workers.
  • Increased involvement of employers, farm organizations and agribusinesses in creating a culture of safety.
  • Improved injury and fatality data collection with inclusion of underserved populations such as Anabaptists and seasonal workers.
  • Increased attention to reaching young farm parents and teen workers via social media outlets.

Key points of the report suggest:

1. All children deserve effective protection from harm.
2. Child development principles are a key consideration for prevention efforts.
3. As in all industrialized countries, the government plays a role in financing, organizing, and overseeing provisions that address the most pressing needs of the population; this includes agricultural safety and health.
4. Despite progress since the national Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative was launched in 1996, special populations remain under-represented in efforts addressing agricultural risks and hazards.
5. Agricultural practices are undergoing major changes and the environment in
which children are involved in agriculture is evolving, thus recommendations in
this 2012 plan will require assessment and modifications on a regular basis.
6. While many aspects of agriculture are changing, certain conditions remain relatively constant, such as tractors continue to be the most common source of death for all agricultural workers, including children.
7. Supervision is not a sufficient strategy for protecting young children on farms because of unpredictable behaviors of children, inherent dangers in agricultural environments, and the potential for parents/caregivers to switch their attention from supervision to the work at hand.
8. Multi-faceted strategies, of which education is only one component, are needed over a period of time to adequately reduce the toll of injuries.
9. Not all strategies in this plan are data-based since there is a shortage of injury/ health agricultural data; yet the plan represents the best efforts from the scholarly discourse by academicians and practitioners along with input from many stakeholders.

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