Coloring the Way to Safety: Using a Bilingual Coloring Book to Promote Agricultural Safety for Children

  • Cervantes, Yolanda;
  • McDonald, Marian

The NURSE project, established in 1991 through a cooperative agreement with NIOSH, was designed to examine the scope of occupational injuries and fatalities in agriculture in two California counties. NURSE staff engage in a variety of outreach activities and have produced numerous educational materials in order to set up and maintain the surveillance system, and to heighten the community's general awareness of agricultural injuries.

An important target audience of this work has been children and their families. Farm work and farm life can be extremely dangerous for children. Close to 300 children are killed on farms each year across the country, and over 23,000 are injured. Children who live or spend time on farms are exposed to many hazards. Bienvenidos Al Rancho/Welcome to the Farm, a bilingual coloring book, was designed to help children ages 4-8 learn to recognize and avoid farm hazards. The Spanish and English coloring book, which includes a parent/teacher guide and is offered free to the public, has been a successful educational and outreach tool. Over 15,000 copies of the coloring book were distributed from October, 1993, to March, 1994, to a wide range of sectors involved with children, including farm families, teachers, community clinics, migrant programs, and law enforcement agencies. This paper discusses the ways that Bienvenidos Al Rancho/Welcome to the Farm has functioned as a tool for education and outreach by examining its publication, promotion and distribution, and by exploring its popularity. The paper discusses lessons from work with Bienvenidos Al Rancho/Welcome to the Farm and suggests how similar efforts can be used to promote agricultural safety for children.

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. McDonald, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA; Y. Cervantes, NURSE Project, California DHS, Berkeley, CA.

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