Mississippi ranks near the bottom all states for its child death rate. The child death rate in 2007 ranged from 9 per 100,000 in Rhode Island to 34 per 100,000 in Mississippi. Accidents are the leading cause of death for this 1-14 year-old age group. Additionally, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that for each injury-related death in 2007, there were 1,540 injury-related emergency room visits and about 22 hospital admissions for children who survived their injuries.
The lack of data, the rural nature of the state, the vulnerable groups described above, and the existence of evidenced-based injury prevention programs are compelling reasons for mobilization to address the issue of childhood farm injury prevention. As its first step toward meeting this need, the Mississippi Rural Health Association has launched a project in support of the 2012 National Action Plan’s Leadership Goal, “Develop and sustain a strong public/private infrastructure at national, regional, and state levels to provide the vision, leadership, and commitment necessary to ensure safety and health for all children living, visiting, and working in agricultural settings,”
Who’s Doing What with Child Ag. Safety in Mississippi?
National Progressive Agricultural Foundation
This group holds workshops in Mississippi, in partnership with select entities such as Mississippi State University. Approximately 15-20 events are held on an annual basis in differing locations, often at local agricultural centers across the state.
Mississippi Department of Health
MSDH holds an EMS for Children Day once per year in differing locations. This event has different stations for child and adult learning regarding safety measures on small farms.
Safe Routes to School Program
Promoted by the Mississippi Department of Education and the Mississippi Department of Transportation, this program promotes bicycle safety. Focal points for the program are in May (bike to school month) and October (walk to school month). Mississippi ranks in the top 3 states nationally for safe travel to school.
Farm Bureau holds multiple events and programs arount Mississippi for child agricultural safety. The organization holds summer camps for children, sponsors the state’s Agricultural Safety Week, and holds “Ag. in the Classroom” that trains teachers to teach ag. safety as part of their cirriculum. Additionally, the Youth Safety Division of Farm Bureau holds multiple events in schools each year showing common farm accidents to children and explaining proper ways to prevent injury.
Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
The MDWF hosts multiple ATV safety and hunting safety classes in school 4H classes each year.
USDA Rick Management Agency
The USDA promotes a program with the title “Farming is Risky Business” and works to promote school-based food safety while stressing safety in agricultural areas where food is farmed and prepared.
Future Farmers of America
The FFA performs safety education in school classrooms throughout Mississippi.
Alcorn State University
ASU teaches a risk management cirriculum which addresses child safety and other agricultural issues. This course is a popular program for local new farmers and is open to anyone.
In addition to the partnership that 4H has with the MDWF, this group also works to train youth in proper methods for farming and caring for animals, including a mandatory ethics training for any student that wishes to participate in “showing” animals during fairs and programs.
Safe Kids Mississippi
This program participates with the Mississippi Department of Health with child passenger safety checks at different locations around Mississippi. The group also partners with select MSDH events throughout the state to demonstrate proper safety measures for parents and children alike.
Mississippi Department of Transportation
The MDOT travels around the state with its “roll over car” to show the effects of fatal accidents if proper safety precautions are not followed. These events are both stand along as well as partnered with other events already held.
Community-Based Agriculture: Safety Guidelines for Youth Working in Gardens
In the US, gardens of all kinds (e.g. community, school, church, urban) are growing in popularity and diversity. The USDA refers to these efforts as community-based agriculture (CBA). Many of these programs don’t include a safety component and the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS) is now addressing this gap.
Farm Safety Just for Kids
A fun, interactive website with tips, tools, and games on how to keep kids safe on farms.
Agricultural Safety Channel on YouTube
Brought to you by the U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers, this channel has videos that may serve as a valuable resource for child injury prevention.
USDA for Kids
A website containing agricultural information for kids as well as fun games designed to better educate children as to the workings of rural farms.
National Action Plan for Agricultural Child Injury Prevention
The CDC’s national plan for prevention of child injury on rural farms. Various resources are also housed on the CDCs website.
Tractor Safety Poster Downloads
From the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network
ATV Safety Poster Downloads
From the Childhood Agricultural Safety Network
National Agriculture Safety Day Calendar
From Progressive Agriculture
Federal Child Labor Laws Applicable to Agriculture
From the U.S. Department of Labor
Agriculture Health and Safety FAQ
Frequently asked questions and statistics
Fire Farm Safety Brochure
A brochure, printable, that teaching about fire safety on farms.
Child Agricultural Safety Network Listserv
Post topics and learn from those around the country regarding child safety: CASNfirstname.lastname@example.org
For more information or to participate in this coalition, contact the Association at 601.898.3001 or email@example.com.