Disabilities and Musculoskeletal Disorders

Hearing loss was studied in high school students by researchers at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. Children who lived and worked on farms were found to have excess hearing loss in the left ear compared with children who neither lived nor worked on farms and children who lived but did not work on farms. The investigators suggested that the excess left ear hearing loss that has been observed in adult farmers begins during childhood (39).

Musculoskeletal disorders can result from excessive physical demands or repetitive movements related to work. Few studies have evaluated the physical demands associated with jobs performed by children and adolescents. These work-related health problems may contribute significantly to long-term problems among youth and need to be addressed in future research (40).

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