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Baseline Childhood Farm Safety Data for Indiana

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 4(2): 119-130 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15350) @1998
Authors:   S. A. Freeman, S. D.Whitman, R. L.Tormoehlen
Keywords:   Farm safety, Agricultural safety, Tractor safety, Questionnaires, Knowledge acquisition

A survey of Indiana farm homes was conducted in the winter of 1994-1995 to establish realistic baselines concerning child safety practices for populations in rural Indiana for the purpose of: (1) adjusting interventions to target specific issues where prevention efforts are most needed; and (2) evaluating the effectiveness of safety efforts targeting rural Indiana families. A questionnaire was designed to obtain baseline information for child safety practices on Indiana farms, and a stratified random sample of 1,500 Indiana farms (arrayed by county) was selected from a population consisting of all 60,000 Indiana farms. Survey procedures involved two mailings, and phone interviews with non-respondents, which yielded 597 usable questionnaires.

Survey responses indicate that on Indiana farms where children reside or frequently visit, 63% of owner/operators allow children to ride as passengers on tractors and/or combines, and 36% allow children to operate tractors. Survey responses suggest that grandparents are more likely than parents to prohibit potentially dangerous farm activities (e.g., riding on tractors, combines, and grain transport vehicles, and operating tractors and ATVs), while parents are more likely to implement strategic safety practices (e.g., having a fire escape plan, and obtaining CPR/first aid training). Survey results also show that Indiana farm families do not meet national goals for the use of bicycle helmets, child seats/seatbelts, or smoke detectors.

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