Farm work injuries among a cohort of children in Kentucky, USA

Steven R. Browning, Susan C. Westneat, Deborah B. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Children residing on farms with livestock may be at an increased risk for work-related injuries, compared to children who work on other commodity farms. This study characterizes children’s work tasks on Kentucky farms and assesses whether children who work on beef cattle farms are at an increased risk for farm work injuries. The results of a cohort study of children aged 5–18 years (N=999 at baseline) working on family farms in Kentucky, followed for two consecutive years after an initial enumeration five years previously, found that 70% of the children were involved in animal-related chores. Across all age groups, children on beef cattle farms devoted a greater number of hours per week to farm work, compared to children living on other commodity farms, especially during the school year. For all children in the study, working more than 180 days per year, performing farm work independently, and working on a beef cattle farm (compared to other commodity farm), increased the risk of a farm work injury. However, none of these associations were statistically significant. For male children only, the performance of work tasks independently was significantly associated with a 2.4-fold increased risk (OR = 2.41; 95% CI: 1.15–5.06; P=0.02) for a farm work injury, after controlling for days of working, age, period of data collection, and commodity type of the farm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-611
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention (NIOSH Grant No. 1 R01 OHO3924-01). The authors wish to thank Dr. Ron Langley and the staff at the Survey Research Center at the University of Kentucky for their assistance in implementing the study. The editorial assistance of Dr. Wayne Sanderson and Teresa Donovan at the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention is also appreciated. The authors also extend their thanks to the Kentucky farmers and their families from the original Farm Family Health and Hazard Surveillance Project in Kentucky. Without their support, this study would not have been possible, and it is hoped that the results may provide some benefit as they continue their important work on the family farms of Kentucky.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Institute of Agricultural Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • Agriculture
  • Children
  • Farming
  • Injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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