Threatening child labor

By: Emma Wallestad 1917

Young children are working long hours in dangerous jobs instead of having an education.

Today, over 1.7 million children are working across the nation, which is 1 out of every five. A whole 18% of America's workers are under the age of 16. They work in dangerous jobs like being a breaker boy, meat packers, textile workers, and other manufacturing occupations. America's future is in jeopardy because of the little amount of kids attending school. Even with night school offered, after working hard 10 hour days they couldn't keep focus and needed sleep. Some children over 10 report to not even know their ABS's.


One job that boys did was working underground separating tons of rock from coal. They were given the name of breaker boys and suffer greatly. They work for about 14 to 16 hour work days with air "thick from coal dust". These young boys inhaled lots of the coal which damaged their lunges causing illness and dust plague. Sharp blades and sulfur on the coal made their fingers swell up and even bleed.



This horrid treatment is happening because of no laws against or decreasing the intensity of child labor. Also, bosses can pay children less to work, so they hire as many as they can. Even the wages of parents and adults are really low, so they need their kids to work so they can pay for expenses. Lastly, there aren't laws making kids attend school, so they can skip it for work instead.

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Follow up, problem fixed!

At first laws protecting child labor were found unconstitutional. After some tweaking, the fair labor standard act was passed. This included minimum wage, maximum number of work hours per day for kids, and children cant do certain dangerous jobs like manufacturing and mining.

citations:

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/


Article: fighting to keep children out of factories and in school, and child labor.