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J Occup Health year 2005 volume 47 number 5 page 431 - 436
Classification Original
Title Workrelated Risks and Health Problems of Working Children in Urban Istanbul, Turkey
Author Melek Nihal ESIN1, Serap BULDUK1 and Haluk INCE2
Organization 1Department of Community Health Nursing, Florence Nightingale College of Nursing and 2Istanbul Medical Faculty Department of Forensic Medicine, Istanbul University, Turkey
Keywords Working children, Health problems, Workrelated risks, Turkey
Correspondence M. N. Esin, Department of Community Health Nursing, Florence Nightingale College of Nursing, Istanbul University, Sisli 80270, Istanbul, Turkey
(e-mail: mnesin@superonline.com)
Abstract Workrelated Risks and Health Problems of Working Children in Urban Istanbul, Turkey: Melek Nihal ESIN, et al. Department of Community Health Nursing, Florence Nightingale College of Nursing, Istanbul University, Turkey-The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to identify the work-related risks and health problems of working children. The sample included 167 working boys. These boys were chosen from schools giving occupational education in the industrial part of Istanbul. A questionnaire and worksite assessment checklists, developed by the researchers, were used as data gathering tools. Data were collected from the boys' schools and workplaces. From this data, it was found that 24.6% of the boys were jewelers, 32.3% were car mechanics and 43.1% were hairdressers. Findings revealed that 30.5% of the boys, who were engaged in child labor, were poor and dropped out of school to assist their families. Boys, whose mean age was 17.6 plusmn 1.2, had been working since they were 13 yr old. The boys were also found to work 66.4 h a week, which was an unexpectedly high result considering the 35 hours limitation set by the laws of Turkey for working children. As for work-related risks, chemical risks for boys working as hairdressers (p<0.01), and using sharp tools and accidents for boys working as car mechanics were more common than the other groups (p<0.001, p<0.001). Boys working as hairdressers mostly had respiratory system problems, skin problems, and headache (p<0.001, p<0.001, p<0.001). Those working as car mechanics had nose/throat problems, and musculoskeletal system problems (p<0.001, p<0.01). Among those working as jewelers, eye-related problems were common (p<0.001). It was concluded from the findings of the present study that child labor creates an unhealthy environment for children.