Health hazards to children in agriculture

Am J Ind Med. 1993 Sep;24(3):283-90. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700240305.


Children comprise a significant portion of the agricultural workforce and are exposed to many workplace hazards, including farm machinery, pesticides, poor field sanitation, unsafe transportation, and fatigue from doing physically demanding work for long periods. Migrant farmworker children face the additional hazard of substandard or nonexistent housing in the fields. Children account for a disproportionate share of agricultural workplace fatalities and disabling injuries, with more than 300 deaths and 27,000 injuries per year. The most common cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among children in agriculture is farm machinery, with tractors accounting for the greatest number. Remedies to the problems of child labor must take into account family economics and the need for child care. Labor law reform and rigorous enforcement of existing laws and of workplace health and safety requirements are vital to better protect the children and adults working in agriculture.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention*
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Agriculture*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Employment* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Equipment Safety
  • Humans
  • Transients and Migrants
  • United States
  • United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Workplace