to evaluate the adequacy of hazardous order regulations and compliance with those regulations.

  • Targeted periodic surveillance efforts should be undertaken to identify the work-related injuries and illnesses sustained by particularly vulnerable subgroups of young workers, such as young migrant farmworkers, young immigrants, poor youngsters, and minority youngsters.

  • Education efforts should be targeted to health care providers who work with children and adolescents to develop professionals who routinely collect essential information about work histories and who routinely provide anticipatory guidance to adolescents about work-related health issues. Because the surveillance of occupational injuries and illnesses is contingent on the recognition that some health problems are related to hazards in the workplace, adequate training of health care providers is essential. In the United States, however, occupational health training for providers is generally extremely limited. Moreover, those specialists who provide other health services specifically to children and adolescents receive no training regarding health and safety for working youngsters. Even in the standard prevention counseling guidelines for young people, occupational safety and health issues are not mentioned.

  • All federal agencies that collect data on the occupational injuries and illnesses sustained by youngsters should improve efforts to disseminate this information to state and local public health practitioners who are responsible for injury control and adolescent health.

  • A surveillance component should be developed so that schools with work-based learning programs can track and investigate injuries sustained by students in job placements.


Taken together, federal data sources and national and local survey research provide a fair amount of information about teenagers who have jobs, where they work, and how much they work. However, definitions and nomenclature often vary from source to source, making it difficult to compare information, and little information is available about the extent of work by those under the age of 15. Nor is there much information on subpopulations of young people, such as those who are disabled, poor, or members of minority groups. Information on the quality of the work in which young people en-

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement