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Effects Of Child Labor Essay

2399 words - 10 pages

Child labor affected children throughout the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s. The need for money in the homes of families was getting worst and they had no other choice, but to send their kids off to work. Instead of playing football in the backyard, or going to school, these kids were working twelve to fourteen hour work shifts. Laws were passed here and there against it, but were never taken seriously. The number of children joining the workforce was growing rapidly, resulting in fewer kids getting an education. If the families could choose they wouldn't be sending their kids off to work, but they needed the money. Child Labor negatively affected children by ruining their health, ...view middle of the document...

The jobs however were far from easy. Each job that was offered had high risks of people getting hurt in one of the machines, or ending up dead. The places they worked at were dangerous for adults let alone children. The factories were dirty, cramped, and unsanitary. Dust and unknown particles filled the air making it hard to see and breath. Children were given jobs adults were not able to do, such as getting into a machine to fix it. These spaces were very small that an adult couldn’t fit but a child could easily. Their nimble hands, good eyesight, and small bodies made them capable of doing such risky jobs. Precision was everything while they were working, one slip up and you might not make it home (“Child Labour”; Bentley).
Conditions in the factories made catching diseases easy, and dying wasn't unusual. Because of everyone being so close to each other, diseases could spread easily like wild fire. Usually factories were jam packed full of people well over the limit of safety in case there was a fire. Keeping things clean was not a high priority of the owners; they just wanted to see a profit. In the air floating would be cotton particles that the girls would breathe in making it harder to do things. Some jobs required the girls to stand on top of the machines to change the spindles when they were empty and often times they would be barefoot. Being on top of the machines, one misstep and you could seriously injure yourself or end up dead. Girls also had to worry about not getting their hair caught in the machines while changing out the spindles. One chunk of hair could get stuck in the machine and be ripped out leaving the girl scalped and in pain. Some factories would lock their workers in while working to keep anyone from trying to leave while it was their shift. If a fire was to occur, the workers would not be able to get out in time. They would be trapped inside the building as it began engulfed in flames. Something similar had happened in New York City in a factory. The building had caught on fire, the doors were locked, and hundreds of girls had died in the flames. This shows another reason why workings in the factories was so hazardous (Bentley; Gavin).
Not only were the working conditions terrifyingly dangerous, but that wasn't the only thing there that was hurting them. There were supervisors that would watch the kids as they worked. If they did something wrong, they would get strapped. If they were the last ones in a factory to be done on a job, they were strapped. If the child broke something, even on accident they were strapped. The children would be fatigued and exhausted from the long hours with no breaks except once for lunch. They would stand over them as if they were slave owners, hitting the children to keep them inline and on task. Many would fall asleep while working from being exhausted, which would lead to punishments from the supervisors. Usually when punished the child would be made to do something publicly so all the...

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