250,000 working teens will experience job-related injuries or illnesses every year
06-29-2009 (Dayton, OH) -
Each summer, about six million people between the ages of 16 and 19 join the national workforce in jobs including the landscaping, food service and retail industries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Is your teen ready to become a part of that group or is he or she already employed?
According to OSHA, about 250,000 of working teens will experience job-related injuries or illnesses and about 60 to 70 will die from work-related injuries every year.
Parents need to be knowledgeable about the possible dangers their teens can experience while at work.
"Whether or not your teen is already working or looking for employment, parental attentiveness can prevent injuries on the job site," says Lisa Schwing, trauma program manager at The Children's Medical Center of Dayton.
"Asking the right questions and taking steps to make sure your teen is educated about the right laws and procedures can make a difference."
Schwing, OSHA and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer six ways to keep teens safe on the job:
- After a job offer, learn if the company complies with federal and state child labor laws.
- Coordinate the work schedule to match the medication schedule if your teen takes medication on a strict schedule.
- Watch for chronic back injuries, other constant pain or attitude changes. If any conditions arise, talk with a pediatrician or family doctor.
- Teens who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses should not work around smoke.
- Be familiar with common pesticides or equipment that may be used when working outdoors. This information can be found on OSHA's web site. Also, be sure sun protection is properly used.
- Learn about the teen's job. Know the position the teen will hold, specific duties he or she will perform, the number of hours worked each week, the names of the managers and the contact information for the company.
"A summer job can provide great benefits to teens, like responsibility, financial management and helpful employment skills," says Schwing.
"However, a job-related injury or illness could have a negative long-term effect on your teen. Parents can lessen this chance by getting involved."
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