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Let children be children - photo exhibit header on the background that shows a photo of a young girl farmer. Photo of a child laborer in the US in the early 20th century
Click here to see more photos in exhibition.

A photo exhibit and tour organized by the George Eastman House

A special docent led photo tour and workshop is available for students and teachers 

The California Resource Network for Young Worker Health and Safety and the California Department of Industrial Relations present a child labor photo exhibit in San Francisco's civic center. Free docent led photo tours and workshops are available upon request.

Students -14 to 18 years of age - and their teachers will be guided through an hour-long tour of the photo exhibit "Let Children be Children: Lewis Wickes Hine's Crusade against Child Labor," at San Francisco's city hall, after which they will participate in an interactive workshop on today's child labor laws and workplace safety and health. The hour-long workshop will be conducted at the state building by UCLA and UC Berkeley occupational safety and health coordinators and will identify strategies to:

  • Reduce work-related injuries and illness among California youth

  • Foster awareness and skills in safety and health that will allow California youth to take an active role in shaping safe work environments

  • Promote positive, healthy employment for youth.

Free materials will be provided. Classes are limited to 30 students and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Teachers and/or aides must accompany their students and teachers should allow three hours for the photo tour and workshop.

For more information or to reserve a photo tour/workshop contact Susan Gard at (415) 703-5050 or email

About the photo exhibit and Safe Jobs for Youth:

"Let Children be Children: Lewis Wickes Hine's Crusade against Child Labor," is an exhibit and tour organized by the George Eastman House. The 55 Lewis Hine photos offer historical context for the statewide observance of Safe Jobs for Youth Month in May. The observance, proclaimed by Governor Gray Davis, provides an opportunity to educate young workers (before they begin their summer jobs), their parents and educators about labor and occupational safety laws.

Hine was hired in 1906 by the National Child Labor Committee to document the abject working conditions of children with the aim of enacting protective legislation for children. Hine spent 10 years photographing children. His photos were instrumental in curbing the hours of work for the nation's children - but not until 1938 when the federal child labor regulation was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Every year, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an estimated 200,000 young workers are injured on the job. An estimated 70,000 are injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room. Potential hazards facing young workers today include:

  • Late hours - increase the risks and vulnerability to crime

  • Long hours - create potential hazards when working alone and when experiencing frequent contact with the public

  • Working around unsafe or broken equipment

  • Cooking with hot oil and on hot cooking surfaces

  • Using powered equipment such as box crushers, bakery machines and forklifts.

For more information about Safe Jobs for Youth, visit or call 1 (888) 933-TEEN (8336).

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