Table of Contents
ISRN Pediatrics
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 729573, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/729573
Research Article

Labor and Related Injuries among Schoolchildren in Palestine: Findings from the National Study of Palestinian Schoolchildren (HBSC-WBG2006)

1Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, P.O. Box 2208, 71003 Iraklion, Crete, Greece
2Faculty of Medicine, Al-Quds University, The Al-Quds Nutrition and Health Research Center, Abu Dies, West Bank, P.O. Box 20760, Jerusalem, Palestine
3Faculty of Medicine, Al-Quds University, P.O. Box 51000, Jerusalem, Palestine
4Faculty of Medicine, An-Najah National University, P.O. Box 7, Nablus, West Bank, Palestine
5Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, Harokopio University of Athens, 70 El. Venizelou Avenue, Kallithea, 17671 Athens, Greece
6Faculty of Nursing, University of Texas, 6901 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 14 February 2014; Accepted 25 March 2014; Published 3 April 2014

Academic Editors: M. Adhikari and J. A. O'Neill

Copyright © 2014 Christine Jildeh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Labor related injuries among Palestinian schoolchildren are a significant undocumented public health concern. This study aimed at documenting the prevalence and nature of work related injuries among schoolchildren as well as identifying sociodemographic factors that predict these injuries. Methods. A cross-sectional survey included 15,963 children of whom 6458 (40.8%) completed an optional package related to labor. Students aged 12–18 years self-completed the international WHO collaborative HBSC valid questionnaires between April and May of 2006. Results. Approximately 73.8% of the students who filled the optional package reported working during the last 12 months, of whom 79.1% sustained a work related injury. Work injuries were significantly higher among boys, younger children, and children enrolled in UNRWA schools and living in Gaza Strip . Children working ≥3 hours/day were more likely to experience injuries, 1.73 (95% CI, 1.53–1.95), than those working ≤3/day. About half of the children worked in retail trade (51.5%), agriculture (20.0%), and cleaning (11.4%). Injury type was related to the type of work performed. Conclusions. The high prevalence of injuries among working Palestinian schoolchildren confirms its severity as a public health problem. To reduce occupational injuries, policymakers and professionals should develop intervention programs that target the public and health providers.