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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PINZON-RONDON, Angela Maria et al. Work-related injuries among child street-laborers in Latin America: prevalence and predictors. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.26, n.3, pp.235-243. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence and nature of occupational injuries among children working in the streets of four major cities in Latin America, as well as to identify factors that predict these work-related injuries. METHODS: This cross-sectional study interviewed 584 children from 5-17 years of age working on the streets of Bogotá, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Quito, Ecuador; and São Paulo, Brazil. Descriptive analyses and multivariate logistic regressions were conducted, with incidence and serious injuries regressed on occupational and sociodemographic variables. RESULTS: Approximately 39.6% of the child street-laborers surveyed reported an injury sustained while working in the streets: scratches (19.5%), cuts/lacerations (16.4%), burns (8.6%), car accidents (8.9%), sprains (4.6%), and amputations (0.3%). Working a high number of daytime hours and performing on the street predicted the greatest risk of injury, even after controlling for sociodemographic factors; specifically, each additional hour of daytime work increased the risk of injury by 1.4%. Child performers had three times the injury rate of children primarily selling products. Boys, older children, and children in Quito were more likely to experience moderate-to-severe injuries, than girls, younger children, and street children in the other study cities. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions are needed to address the substantial risk of injury experienced by children working on the city streets of Latin America.

Keywords : Child labor; homeless youth; accidents, occupational; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Latin America; Peru.

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