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Down on the Farm; Fifteen Years of Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention

July 1, 2014
NIOSH Update:
large green field with silo and barn in the background, in front of a cloud capped mountain range.

A new publication from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) summarizes fifteen years of childhood agricultural injury data and highlights the agency’s extramural research in childhood agricultural injury prevention. This summary describes research that has been funded by grants from the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative (CAIPI) that serves to protect any child living, working or visiting a farm.

The Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative (CAIPI) was initiated by NIOSH and its partners in October 1996 with funds appropri­ated by Congress to conduct and apply research for childhood agricultural injury prevention. Through a tripartite approach of surveillance, research, and information dissemination, the initiative continues to prevent injury and death to children and youth in an agricultural work environment, most frequently on farms.

“Dramatic progress has been made in reducing the number and rate of childhood agricultural injuries since the imple­mentation of the Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “Appropriate prioritization of childhood agricultural safety and health activities, and the development and implementation of effective prevention efforts, continues to be a priority for NIOSH and its partners in agricultural production and agricultural safety.”

Goals under the CAIPI include:

  • Filling in gaps and critical data needs pertaining to agricultural injuries
  • Establishing an infrastructure that facilitates the use of data and research results to develop and improve prevention efforts
  • Encouraging the use of effective prevention strategies by the private and public sectors.

The CAIPI summary report describes the many research grants that have been funded over the past fifteen years, all priorities identified by stakeholders in the private and public sectors, individuals and organizations, and parents and professionals who hope to protect any child in an agricultural work environment. Examples of the research conducted include health outcomes and interventions in small-scale operations, risk factors among seasonal farmworker children, and evaluation of school-based and other curriculum, among others.

To effectively conduct injury surveillance efforts, CAIPI collaborates with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Na­tional Agricultural Statistics Service which allows for the collection of  youth farm in­jury data that otherwise couldn’t be obtained. NIOSH is then able to analyze and use this data for surveillance of youth agricultural injuries.

To download a copy of the Summary of NIOSH Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Extramural Research: A Quindecennial (1997–2011) of Progress, please visit:

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries and illnesses. It was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. For further information, visit .