A Qualitative Assessment of Children's Farm Safety Day Camp Programs

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Lee, Barbara;
  • Esser, Nancy;
  • Baker, Ann E.


In order to increase farm safety awareness and teach children good safety habits, farm safety day camp programs have been initiated in many communities. For the most part, the effectiveness of the programs is unknown because few evaluations have been performed. The purpose of this project was to qualitatively assess the overall strengths and weaknesses of farm safety day camp programs and to generate recommendations for future programs. Interviews, a literature search, and observations were used to identify strengths and weaknesses of the farm safety day camp programs. Major strengths of the programs are that: 1) positive attention is given to agriculture and agricultural safety; 2) programs are hands-on, interactive, and fun; 3) children gain knowledge about farm safety; 4) programs bring a community together to work toward a common goal; and 5) children talk to parents about safety. Key weaknesses of farm safety day camp programs are that: 1) there is a lack of parental involvement in many of the programs; 2) it is hard to change patterns of behavior in one day; 3) programs are expensive and time consuming; 4) curricula may include content that is inaccurate or inappropriate for the age of participants; and 5) evaluation is difficult. When done well, farm safety day camp programs can teach children about safety and influence safety practices affecting children on the farm. Recommendations for future farm safety day camp programs are: 1) ensure that child-development principles are applied to all aspects of program activities and curricula; 2) provide session leaders with accurate and relevant content; 3) increase parental involvement; and 4) address safety issues throughout the year.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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