Estimate the annual US incidence and cost of fatal and nonfatal youth injury in agricultural settings.
We used 2001–2006 Childhood Agricultural Injury Survey data to estimate the incidence of nonfatal injury and 2001–2006 Multiple Cause of Death data to estimate the incidence of fatal injury. To estimate the costs for injuries suffered by youth working/living in agricultural settings, we multiplied the number of injuries times published unit costs by body part, nature of injury, and age group.
An average of 26 655 agricultural injury incidents occurred annually to youth (ages 0–19) in the United States during the period 2001–2006 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 24 263–29 046). These injuries cost society an estimated $1.423 billion per year in 2005 dollars (95% CI: $1.333 billion–$1.513 billion). Fatalities alone cost an estimated $420 million per year. Work related injuries annually cost $347 million or 24.4% of the total cost (95% CI: 20.3%–28.5%). Most agricultural youth injuries were not work related.
We found that, similarly to adult agricultural injuries, youth agricultural injuries tend to be more severe and more costly than nonagricultural injuries. Only 1.4% of injured youth in the United States were hospitalized in 2000, but 14% of youth injured in agriculture were hospitalized in 2001–2006. To address this serious problem, prevention should focus on better controlling both child access to agricultural recreational activities and child assignment to agricultural work tasks that exceed developmental norms.