Some Health Problems Among Working Children In Zagzig City, Sharkia Governorate.

  • NS El-Laithy
  • SAS Abouel-Magd
  • AA El-Hawary
  • SS El-Gohary
  • AF Gharib


Background: Children's increased vulnerability puts them at a high risk of work related health problems. Objectives: 1) identifying the characteristics of the child labor, work perceptions and job satisfaction among working children in Zagazig City 2) determining some health problems among them, 3) determining the haemoglobin and blood lead levels of the studied children and 4) studying the risk factors associated with the blood lead level among these working children. Subjects and Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was used to compare 74 male working children (aged 6-17 years) in small industrial workshops and a comparison control group of 82 school children of the same age group. All children were interviewed using a pre-designed questionnaire including socio-demographic, work characteristics, social & nutritional habits and health complaints. Also, the studied groups were subjected to physical examination and blood samples were taken to assess haemoglobin and blood lead levels. Results: Working children reported higher significant prevalence of current smokers, drug abusers than their control group. Also, more than one third of working children (37.8%) were suffering from increased work tiredness, hoping to leave their work in 58.1%, with little job satisfaction in 45.9%, and with high physical or verbal abuse from their current employer in 62.2%. Also, a significant higher prevalence of recent health complaints were detected among working children compared to their control group. Injuries were significantly higher among working children (18.9%) compared to their control group (7.3%). Physical examination revealed a significant higher prevalence of nail, hand, eye, mouth, throat and chest problems among working children compared to their control group (P< 0.05). Results of blood analysis revealed that lead toxicity was significantly higher among working children (41.9%) compared to control group (20.7%). Mother's education, working in mechanic workshop, duration of work and smoking habit had a significant effect on the prevalence of lead toxicity among working children. Logistic regression analysis revealed that, duration of work for more than 3 years was the only significant independent predictor for high blood lead level (P < 0.05). Conclusion and recommendations: This study concluded that working children are at high risk for many health problems, unhealthy habits and lead toxicity. More attention to health problems among working children, with control child labor, abolishing child labor in hazardous occupations and covering young workers by social security. Key words: child labor, health problems, lead toxicity, social security.

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eISSN: 1687-8671
print ISSN: 1687-8671