Resistant bacteria and children's farm visits


What to bear in mind when developing guidelines and communication activities for children’s farm visits and other situations when children interact with animals? This is what the workshop Children and the Wild: Potential Benefits and Perils in Human-Animal Encounters at Uppsala Health Summit will discuss. We asked Tanja Strand, Researcher at National Veterinary Institute in Sweden to tell us more.

Children and the wild

What made you interested in this topic?

Since many infectious diseases are transmissible between animals and humans, and I have an interest in the health of both animals and the public, it was natural for me to start to work with disease control. A relevant project I worked with earlier was about communicating risks for disease transmission and antimicrobial resistance from a One Health perspective to children and the public.

What have you found in your work at the National Veterinary Institute? 

In the project I mentioned, we sampled lavatories and hand washing areas at different kinds of farms open for the public and detected MRSA of human origin. Among the farm animals, we detected a few examples of potential harmful bacteria. This points to the importance of washing hands both before and after visiting a farm. Within the project we designed pedagogic interactive tools to help children avoid zoonotic microorganisms resistant bacteria when visiting farms. For example, we developed a board game about antibiotic resistance which involves eliminating harmful bacteria by washing your hands. The different games, hand washing-signs, the activity book and the film that we also produced are now in use at many of the 4H farms across Sweden.

What do you hope that the discussions at Uppsala Health Summit will lead to?

In our workshop, we will all share our different experiences from working in this area and relate this to practises in the past, the way it is now, and what we would like to strive for in the future. The workshop members will then be better prepared to develop guidelines and communication activities for children’s farm visits and other animal proximity practises.

More information about this workshop

…and on how to register to participate in this workshop: