By the time they are seniors in high school, the majority of United States youth are, or have been, employed for pay outside their homes. Injuries and illnesses are an all too frequent consequence of work; youth are not exempt. In 1997, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 62 youth under the age of 18 died from work related injuries. In addition, an estimated 70,000 youth were treated in emergency departments for work-related injuries based on data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH was instrumental in convening a National Research Council/Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel to review available knowledge on the safety and health implications for working youth and to make recommendations for research and prevention. Among the recommendations in the IOM report, published in November 1998, was: "A national initiative should be undertaken to develop and provide information and training to reduce the risks and enhance the benefits associated with youth employment." "Promoting Safe Work for Young Workers" is a step in that direction. It reflects the lessons learned from three NIOSH-funded community-based health education projects on young worker issues. In these projects, occupational health educators worked for three years, in three different communities, to raise the awareness of young worker issues at the community level. In this guide, those educators convey what they learned while working with different community groups including parents, employers, educators, and local media. The guide also provides information about materials that can be modified and used in other communities to meet their own needs. The welfare of our youth is a community issue. Interest in their occupational health and safety extends well beyond the confines of their workplaces. We have prepared this guide for health professionals, labor groups, educators, employers, and parent groups. Any group can take a leadership position in making young worker issues a priority in their community. This guide will help you take the first steps.