Agriculture is very dangerous for children. Children working on farms are more likely to die from work-related accidents, and face higher injury and illness rates than adult workers. Each year, over 100 youth die from farm-related injuries in the U.S., and many more are injured. Children who work in fields treated with pesticides are at greater risk of developing neurological and reproductive health problems, as well as cancer.
While industry likes to claim that these jobs help farmworker families, Senator Floyd McKissick (D – Durham, Granville), said: “From the garment factories of New York to the coal mines of West Virginia, America decided a long time ago that child labor was not going to be the solution to bringing people out of poverty. It’s been 75 years, and we’ve never looked back. It’s long past time to close the loopholes and level the playing field for children working in our fields.”
Growing up working on the family farm is an important tradition that should be preserved, but employing young children in hazardous work should not be a tradition any longer. Child labor laws should be the same for every industry. All children in North Carolina deserve a safe, healthy and bright future.
Here’s the 30-second version of this PSA: