Parents who own a business can hire their 12-year-old children as long as they are not employed in a hazardous occupation. Twelve-year-old children can also work in television, film and theater productions and do casual babysitting, reports the Houston Chronicle.
Children under 12 can work on farms when school is not in session, with parental permission. They cannot do hazardous work, such as meat packaging, manufacturing or operating a vehicle, states the Houston Chronicle.
Child labor laws ensure that when children work, the job does not jeopardize their health, safety or education. The Fair Labor Standards Act describes the rules and requirements and monitors the employment and abuse of child workers. State laws also regulate youth employment, according to the United States Department of Labor.