There was much national debate earlier this year about the safety of children working on farms after the Obama administration proposed child farm labor rules that would have restricted the kinds of work children under 18 and 16 could do on non-family farms and adopted a narrower definition of "family farm" that had been used informally for a decade. The proposal was dropped, but the fact remains that teenagers are four times more likely to die on a farm than in any other workplace.
Researchers are studying cognitive development skills in youth while they drive tractors, because children of different ages process information and make decisions differently, The Associated Press reports. Eighty-eight children, aged 10 to 17, will perform a variety of simulated tasks while their speeds, use of brakes, accelerations and eye movements are recorded. The hope is that the simulator can pinpoint differences in the children's performance. (Read more)