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Children Need Protection, Too: Celebrating National Farm Safety and Health Week

MCN ChildrenThis week marks National Farm Safety and Health Week. While there is much to be celebrated in terms of advancements in farm safety, there is still much work to be done -- particularly when over 100 children are killed each year on farms in the US from largely preventable incidents, as reported by the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network. These avoidable farm tragedies affect children and their families for life.

MCN is committed to improving the health and safety of agricultural workers and their families. Last year, in collaboration with the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, MCN launched Protecting Children While Parents Work, a project which aims to engage agricultural employers, child care providers and farmworker parents to facilitate the availability of and access to services for children of migrant and immigrant agricultural workers. When affordable, high quality childcare options are available, farmworker parents are able to focus on the work at hand while knowing that their children are safe and cared for. 

In a farm setting, both working and non-working children and adolescents are at risk for injury. Despite an overall decrease in agriculture-related injuries among youth, it is important to note that injuries among children under 10 years old continues to increase. For working youth under 16 years old, fatalities for youth working in agriculture remain higher than all other industries

Cultivating a culture of safety is imperative when it comes to protecting youth who live, visit, or work on farms. Farm owners can play an important role in protecting their own children and the children of farmworkers. For example, they can connect farmworker parents with local resources, such as Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, to help keep farmworker children safe while their parents work. Learn more about this project and all of MCN’s environmental and occupational health initiatives here

RESOURCES

Child Agricultural Injuries Fact Sheet, by the National Children’s Center

Adolescent Worker Fact Sheet, by the National Children’s Center 

Children and Safety on the Farm, by Penn State Extension

The Children’s Agricultural Safety Network

CONTACT

For more information on this project, contact Juliana Simmons, MSPH, Environmental and Occupational Health Program Manager, at jsimmons@migrantclinician.org.

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