Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Most Parents Unaware of Teen Workplace Risks

Most parents are unaware of the risks their teenagers face in the workplace and could do more to help them understand and prepare for those hazards, according to a new study.

Previous findings have shown that about 80 percent of teens are employed during their high school years. But the study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Injury Prevention Research Center and North Carolina State University highlights the role parents play in helping their children get those jobs, and making good decisions about workplace safety and health.

The paper appears in the July issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

About 38 workers under the age of 18 in the U.S. die from work-related injuries each year, while an estimated 146,000 experience nonfatal injuries or illnesses.

“Because parents are so involved with their children about work, they are in an excellent position to help teens ensure that their employers are assuring good safety standards,” said Carol Runyan, Ph.D., the study’s lead investigator and director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center.

“However, parents need to be prepared with good background information so they can use it to monitor workplaces and help their teens make good decisions,” said Runyan, also professor of health behavior and health education in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine.

“Parents are playing a very positive role in their children’s job searches, we just want to make sure that parents are also helping their children identify potential risks at their jobs, and helping ensure that their children are prepared to cope with those risks,” said Michael Schulman, Ph.D., study co-author and William Neal Reynolds Professor of Sociology at NC State.

The researchers interviewed a nationally representative sample of 922 working teens, as well as a parent of each teen. They found 90 percent of parents helped their teens identify a job opportunity and 82 percent helped their children fill out job applications.

But parental involvement dropped precipitously once the child was employed. For example, 46 percent of parents had helped their teen ask questions about workplace safety and only 36 percent of parents helped their child learn about youth work restrictions.

Also, when asked how they would respond if they believed their teen might be doing dangerous work, most parents said they would act in some way, rather than adopting a wait-and-see approach. However, parents whose children had confronted actual safety situations were much less aggressive in their reported handling of the situation than they indicated they would be in hypothetical situations.

Runyan and Schulman said questions that parents should ask their working teens include:

• How much training did you receive?
• If you are handling cash, have you been trained about what to do if there is a robbery?
• Are you ever alone in the workplace?
• Are there machinery or tools that could be hazardous?
• Have you been trained on how to deal with an angry customer?
• Is there an adult manager on site?
The researchers are planning additional work to determine how to get parents more informed and more involved. Parents, educators, teens and employers can find additional information at the U.S. Department of Labor website:

Along with Runyan and Schulman, the paper, “Parental Involvement with Their Working Teens,” was co-written by Catherine Vladutiu, a doctoral student in epidemiology at UNC, and Kimberly Rauscher, Sc.D., of West Virginia University. The research was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service.

Study abstract:

Media note: Runyan can be reached at or via Liz Knight (see below). Schulman can be reached at (919) 515-9016 or

Injury Prevention Research Center contact: Liz Knight, (919) 843-1472,
UNC News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596,
NC State News Services contact: Matt Shipman, (919) 515-6386,

Matt Shipman | Newswise Science News
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>