adolescents themselves, by their parents, or by other adults who are in positions to give them guidance. The committee proposes several plans to begin to remedy this lack of knowledge and to promote understanding of the conditions that allow or promote safe and meaningful work experiences for children and adolescents.
A number of efforts are currently under way around the country to provide information and training related to making workplaces safe and healthy environments for young people. It was beyond the scope of the current study to adequately assess the most appropriate mechanisms for providing such training. Undoubtedly, a variety of mechanisms are needed, depending on whether the target audiences are young people themselves; or their parents, teachers, employers, health care providers, or community leaders. The federal government could play a key role in advancing information in this area by supporting a series of demonstration projects to test the feasibility and effectiveness of various approaches to information and education about health and safety issues related to the employment of young people. Examples of the types of approaches that could be tested include the following:
Regional resource centers could be funded to provide technical assistance to schools, employers, and local government agencies regarding the health and safety of young workers. The activities of such centers might include conducting qualitative research to identify the gaps in information; developing and disseminating appropriate materials on health, safety, and well-being to various key audiences, including health care professionals, educators, parents, and employers; developing educational curricula for teaching children and adolescents about workplace health and safety; facilitating the adoption of curricula in schools and work-based learning programs; and facilitating collaboration among government agencies at the state and local levels to develop programs and policies to enhance the health and safety of young workers.
Mechanisms could be developed to help young workers who have encountered hazardous or otherwise unacceptable working conditions to understand their rights and to take appropriate action. Regional resource centers are one possible source of assistance; link-