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Child labor is a worldwide phenomenon which is considered inhuman by many international organizations. The term “child labor” is often defined as work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development. In its most extreme forms, child labor involves children being enslaved, separated from their families, exposed to serious hazards and illnesses and/or left to fend for themselves on the street – often at a very early age.(Geneva et al., 2014).
This study was aimed to assess the health related problems among agricultural child labor.
I. Research Design
A descriptive correlation design was used to conduct this study.
A. Study Setting
This study was conducted in preparatory school at three village related to Kafr El-Zyat City, Gharbia Government that include 8 centers, one of them was chosen randomly Kafr El-Zyat City.
Multistage random sample technique was used in this study, the schools and sample for choice agricultural child labor, and it composed of 240 students enrolled in preparatory schools and labor in agriculture selected from the highest density from each grade in the previously mentioned settings with the following inclusion criteria: male students labor in agriculture and age between 12 to 14 years.
Tool of data collection:
Interviewing administrated questionnaire:
Part I: Agricultural child labor (ACL) and their parent’s demographic characteristics.
Part II: ACL’s knowledge related to agricultural hazards: it was used to assess the knowledge of ACL about agriculture hazards.
Part III. ACL`spractice related to agricultural hazards: It was used to assess ACL `s practices related to agriculture hazards.
Part IV.ACL `s exposure related to agriculture hazards: It was used to assess children exposure to work environment hazards they faced during work.
II. OPERATION DESIGN
The operational design for this study consisted of three phases, namely preparatory phase, pilot study, and fieldwork.
This phase included reviewing of literature related to health related problems among agricultural child labor by using books, articles, journals, and internet. This served to develop the study tools for data collection.
Content and face validity and reliability:
Content validity was ascertained by a group of three experts in the field of community health nursing to test its content validity and applicability, Reliability was don used test-retest=(0.83).
Pilot study was carried out on 5% sample of preparatory school children working in agriculture in order to test the applicability of the constructed tools and the clarity of the included questions related to health related problems among agricultural child labor.
The current study was carried out over 3 month’s period, an approval was obtained from the director of the previously mentioned settings, explaining the aim of the study in order to obtain their permission and cooperation. The investigator first met with the students enrolled in preparatory schools and labor in agriculture in the previously mentioned settings at the classes, explained the purpose of the study after introducing himself.
• 49.2% of agricultural child labor(ACL)at 13 years old with mean± SD 13.2±0.8
• 60.4% of ACL received information through their parents and relatives.
• 65.8% of ACL have unsatisfactory knowledge related to agriculture hazards.
• 67.5% of ACL have unhealthy practices related to agriculture hazards,
• 46.2% of ACL beginning their work in agricultural between age 8 to 10 old years
• 40.0% of them were labor in agricultural to support their family incomes
• 35.4% of ACL working at crop time
• The majority of ACL were suffering from effects of agriculture hazards on their circulatory system, digestive system, musculoskeletal system and respiratory system problems respectively.
• All entered sample of ACL were exposed to the health hazards
• 55.0% of ACL their level of school performance were ranged between 60% to 70%
• 72.5% of ACL had more than 15 days of absence from their school in term.
• There is highly statistical significant relationship between total knowledge level of ACL and their frequency exposure to agriculture hazards.
• There is highly statistical significant difference total practices level of ACL and their frequency exposure to agriculture hazards.
Based on the study findings it was concluded that almost two thirds of the agricultural child labor has unsatisfactory knowledge related to agriculture hazards and two thirds of the agricultural child labor has unhealthy practices related to agriculture hazards. Slightly the majority of the agricultural child labor was suffering from effects of agriculture hazards on their circulatory system, digestive system, musculoskeletal system and respiratory system problems, meanwhile, three quarters of them were exposed to chemical hazards and natural hazards respectively.
Based upon the results of the current study the following recommendations suggested:
1) Preparation of a training program to increase awareness of health hazards.
2) Periodic checkup of health status for children to detect agricultural child labor hazards to monitor their health status physically and psychologically.
3) Distributing awareness brochures, leaflets and booklets to avoid the dangers of working in agriculture.
4) Training workshops for school children to protect them from agricultural hazards.
5) Conduct awareness-raising campaigns to know the rights of the child to work at an early age.