Child Farm-Related Injury in Australia: A Review of the Literature

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun 4;18(11):6063. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18116063.


Children on farms have been identified as a population vulnerable to injury. This review seeks to identify child farm-related injury rates in Australia and to determine the key hazards and contributing risk factors. This critical review utilised the PRISMA guidelines for database searching. Research from the year 2000 onward was included as well as earlier seminal texts. Reference lists were searched, and the relevant research material was explored. Our primary focus was on Australian peer-reviewed literature with international and grey literature examples included. Evidence suggests that there is limited Australian research focusing on child farm-related injuries. Child representation in farm-related injuries in Australia has remained consistent over time, and the key hazards causing these injuries have remained the same for over 20 years. The factors contributing to child rates of farm injury described in the literature include child development and exposure to dangerous environments, the risk-taking culture, multi-generational farming families, lack of supervision, child labour and lack of regulation, limited targeted farm safety programs, underuse of safe play areas, financial priorities and poor understanding and operationalisation of the hierarchy of control. It is well known that children experience injury on farms, and the key hazards that cause this have been clearly identified. However, the level of exposure to hazards and the typical attitudes, behaviours and actions of children and their parents around the farm that contribute to chid injury remain unexplored.

Keywords: agriculture; child; child development; child health; farm children; farms; humans; occupational health; risk factors; workplace.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational
  • Agriculture
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Family*
  • Farms
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries*