Department of Public Health Sciences

Injury risks in children of California migrant Hispanic farm worker families

McCurdy, Stephen A, Steven J Samuels, Daniel J Carroll, James J Beaumont and Lynne A Morrin

Am J Ind Med. 2002. 42(2):124-33.

BACKGROUND: Few data are available addressing occupational and other injury risks among children of migrant Hispanic farm workers. METHODS: We conducted the U.C. Davis Farm Worker Injury Study (UCD-FWIS), a longitudinal follow-up study of injury among migrant Hispanic farm worker families living in six Northern California Migrant Housing Centers (MHCs). Nine hundred forty-one children (age < 18 years) were interviewed through parental proxy. RESULTS: Fifty-one injuries resulting in medical care or at least one-half day of lost or restricted work or school time occurred among 49 children (3.8 injuries/100 person-years). Open wounds (31.4%) and fractures (29.4%) were most common. Falls comprised over one-third of the cases, followed by being struck and bicycle injuries. Over three-quarters of subjects never use a helmet when riding a bicycle. Seventy-eight (8.3%) children reported employment in the preceding year, typically involving manual agricultural tasks. Two injury cases were occupational and involved agricultural work. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational injury was uncommon in this group of children in migrant Hispanic farm worker families. Injury prevention in this population should include a focus on the home and surrounding environment as well as the work place.

Keywords: Adolescent; *Agriculture; California/epidemiology; Child; Child, Preschool; Employment/statistics & numerical data; Female; Follow-Up Studies; *Hispanic Americans; Human; Longitudinal Studies; Male; *Parent-Child Relations; Risk; Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; *Transients and Migrants; Wounds and Injuries/*epidemiology

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