Children Working to Survive

August 2, 1900 Paige Canova

Poor pay for parents make children work long, dangerous hours for little pay.

For over 100 years, children have been working up to 16 hours a day to help support their family because their parents aren't being payed enough. When children have to work for their families to survive, they can't go to school and learn to read and write. Some children would try to teach themselves through a textbook during their little free time but could not because they had no reading skills.


Now one-fifth of the 1.7 million working children would work up to 72 hours a week for very low wages. In the textile factory's, children would earn only a dollar a week. If the children were working to help support their family, they still would barely get enough to survive.


Adults and children are starting to protest to this terrible child labor because they want their children to grow up and be able to provide for their family with out making their children work. People are starting to notice all of the work being done by children because 18% of all workers in the United States are under the age of 16.


Also, all the jobs children worked were very dangerous. For example, children who worked in the mines, called breaker boys, were always chopping off their fingers because they didn't have the right working material. Breaker boys would also inhale all the coal and debris from sorting the coal from rocks.

Follow Up

Finally the government started to notice and made some changes. In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. One of the many things this act does is make a minimum wage that all employers have to pay their workers. This will help parents provide for their children by themselves. Next, the act outlaws all children to be doing any dangerous work keeping them healthier and all limps intact. Lastly, this act puts an age and hour limit on children working. This allows children to have time to go to school and learn to read and right.