Within the past few years, two local children died in grain bin suffocation incidents. One, a recent high school graduate of the city schools, had taken a position at the grain elevator. The second student was on a school field trip. In response to these cases, local health care providers began asking, "How can we prevent these tragedies?"
The county-wide health and safety curriculum committee for the local school systems welcomed the Agricultural Health coordinator as a member. Instructional objectives which cover rural and agricultural risks were added to the curriculum. Kids Safety Scenes, organized by the Pediatric/Adolescent Unit Nurse Manager and the Director of the Emergency Management Association, was organized as one method of educating children.
Kids Safety Scenes is an all-day instructional program provided for Delaware county fifth graders. The program is multi-disciplinary with presenters representing community agencies. Three school districts bus the students to the joint vocational school for eleven educational presentations. Five are focused on first aid and six are on farm injury prevention.
In 1993 and l994, a pre-test/post-test evaluation was added to the existing evaluations by teachers, principals and presenters. Interview evaluations have also been completed on a small scale. Teachers, presenters and one classroom were interviewed. Videotaped interviews with students revealed their favorite stations, and more importantly their ability to explain what they had learned.
In 1993, the post-tests were administered in one school after a pilot in a similar community program. The test revealed a need to review the station on gun safety as there was no significant change in scores. In other areas, the post-test showed increases in the knowledge gained at each station.
In 1994, the post-test was randomized by classroom. Results again showed measurable learning. Future evaluations will continue to identify learning from farm safety training for children. Additional research can be targeted to changes in behavior and/or the farm work site for those students that live on/work on a farm.
This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The authors noted above are from: M. J. Fleming, Ohio Dept. of Health, Delaware, OH; S. Rinehart, Grady Memorial Hospital, Delaware, OH.
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