4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
4-H Youth Development Program

Chapter 11: Health and Safety

Chapter 11

Policy Homepage | Forms & Support Documents

I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  1. Purpose
    The University of California (UC) and the California 4-H Youth Development Program (4-H YDP) is committed to achieving excellence in providing a healthy and safe program and working environment, and to support environmentally sound practices in the conduct of UC activities. It is UC policy to comply with all applicable health, safety, and environmental protection laws, regulations and requirements.
    1. To meet this standard of excellence, UC implements management initiatives and best practices to systematically integrate health, safety, and environmental considerations and sustainable use of natural resources into all activities.
    2. All 4-H YDP activities are to be conducted in a manner that ensures the protection of members, adult volunteers, 4-H YDP staff, visitors, the public, property, and the environment.
  2. Goal
    1. The 4-H YDP goal is to prevent all 4-H YDP injuries and illnesses, environmental incidents, and property losses or damage.
    2. Achieving this goal is the responsibility of every member, adult volunteer and 4-H YDP staff. To achieve this goal, the 4-H Safety Manual and 4-H Clover Safe Notes have been developed. Additional UC ANR environmental, health and safety resources can be found at ANR EH&S Home Page and ANR EH&S 4-H Resources.

II. ROLE OF 4-H YDP STAFF

  1. Responsibilities
    4-HYDP staff are responsible for:
    1. Informing adult volunteers and members of the procedures forreporting safety concerns and hazards.
    2. Interpreting UC policies regarding health and safety.
    3. Keeping themselves and the adult volunteers apprised of the changes in guidelines and policies.
    4. Incorporating safety into projects they develop or oversee such as activities, events, and camps.
  2. Resources
    1. The 4-H Safety Manual and 4-H Clover Safe Notes are useful resources for this purpose.
    2. The UC ANR Environmental Health & Safety and Risk Services Offices can provide other resources and training materials.

III. ROLE OF ADULT VOLUNTEERS

  1. Member Safety
    Adult volunteers are responsible for the safety of members during all meetings and activities. Adult volunteers must incorporate safety awareness in project meetings and demonstrate safe practices when showing members how to carry out their project work. Adult volunteers must also be prepared for emergencies. See Clover Safe #13, Emergency Preparation and Response Guideline.
  2. Project Safety
    Adult volunteers need to be familiar with activities, procedures, and processes associated with the project they are supervising. Adult volunteers must be capable of identifying those project risks that pose the potential for causing accidents, injuries, or disease exposures. See Clover Safe #14, Preventing 4-H Member Injuries and Illnesses.
  3. Safety Training
    Safety training should be incorporated into educational instruction/curriculum associated with all 4-H YDP activities and may be accomplished through verbal instruction, instructor demonstrations, review of written or electronic materials, and/or viewing commercially prepared video recordings. In certain instances, members may not be allowed to participate in an activity or utilize equipment or tools until they have demonstrated their understanding of associated hazards and procedures or achieved a necessary level of proficiency. Adult volunteers should document safety training of members either through written curriculum or using a Safety_Meeting_Training_Record.
  4. Risk Assessment
    If an unacceptable risk or hazard becomes evident while an activity is taking place, adult volunteers must promptly modify the activity, establish controls to reduce the risk to an acceptable level, and/or correct the hazard. If the unacceptable risk or hazard continues to exist, the adult volunteer must discontinue the activity and, if necessary, evacuate the members from the affected area.

IV. YOUTH PROTECTION

  1. Introduction
    1. UC and the 4-H YDP are committed to proactively protecting members from child abuse and/or neglect and ensuring their safety while participating in 4-H YDP activities.
    2. In order to help 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers recognize and report child abuse, the Child_Safety_Information_for_Adult_Volunteers and the Child Safety Online Training: Creating Safe Spaces for Youth have been developed.
    3. These following policies are designed primarily to protect members; however, they also serve to protect adult volunteers and 4-H YDP staff from false accusations of abuse.
    4. The following sections, B, C and D, do not apply to interactions between members and their parents/guardians.
  2. Preventing Private Interactions - A Cornerstone of Youth Protection
    The protection of members is of utmost importance in the 4-H YDP. Research has shown that the single most effective way to prevent child abuse in a youth program such as 4-H is to prevent private, one-on-one interactions. Preventing one-on-one interactions between members, as well as between members and adult participants (volunteer and other adults), is a cornerstone of the 4-H youth protection strategy.
  3. Interaction with Members During 4-H Activities
    4-H YDP staff, adult volunteers, adult participants and members will adhere to the following requirements during all 4-H activities.
    1. There will be two (2) appointed adult volunteers present with members during all 4-H activities. "Appointed adult volunteer" means an individual that has been given written confirmation of their formal appointment by the county director.
    2. On some occasions it may be impractical to have two (2) appointed adult volunteers present; in these situations there should be one (1) appointed adult volunteer and another adult participant or 4-H YDP staff member, one of which must be at least 21 years of age.
    3. At least one appointed adult volunteer must be present during all 4-H activities and in charge of the event.
    4. In general, no one-on-one interactions may occur in private, whether between members, or between adult volunteers and members. If personal discussions are necessary, they should be conducted in an area that is in view of other adult volunteers and members.
  4. Interaction with Members Outside of 4-H Activities
    1. 4-H adult volunteers should diligently avoid private, one-on-one contact with members outside of 4-H activities, with the following exemptions.
      1. One-on-one interaction approved by the member's parent/guardian.
      2. One-on-one interaction necessary in exceptional circumstances (e.g., to drive a member to the hospital emergency room, or similar).
    2. UC cannot monitor and enforce this policy outside of 4-H events, UC is not responsible to do so and UC does not promise to do so. However, all adult volunteers should be made aware that, subject to the above exemptions, 4-H policy prohibits them from having private one-on-one interactions with members, at any time, both during 4-H activities and outside of 4-H activities. Volunteers who fail to abide by this policy may be dismissed and barred from the 4-H YDP.
  5. Romantic Relationships
    1. Between Adult Volunteers and Members
      1. It is inappropriate to the role of a 4-H adult volunteer for them to engage in a romantic relationship with a member at any time. Any adult volunteer engaging in a romantic relationship (including but not limited to dating) with a member has violated this University policy and the 4-H YDP 2016-2017 Adult Volunteer Code of Conduct - English - pdf. Any violation of this policy will result in the immediate dismissal of the adult volunteer.
      2. UC cannot monitor and enforce this policy outside of 4-H activities, UC is not responsible to do so and UC does not promise to do so. However, all adult volunteers should be made aware that 4-H policy prohibits them from engaging in a romantic relationship with a member, at any time, both during 4-H activities and outside of 4-H activities. Any violation of this policy will result in the immediate dismissal of the volunteer.
    2. Between Members
      All romantic relationships between members are the responsibility of the youth and of their parents/guardians. However, if such a relationship is apparent to 4-H staff and/or to adult volunteers, these adults should pay particular attention to enforcing the above-described policy prohibiting private, one-on-one interactions between members during 4-H activities.
  6. Supervision Ratios
    1. As a best practice, all 4-H program events, activities and meetings should have a youth to adult ratio of at least 10:1 for senior members; 8:1 for junior and intermediate members; 6:1 primary members.
  7. Supervision in Vehicles
    1. Adults should not be alone in vehicles with members.
    2. Adult volunteers should not be one-on-one in a vehicle with members other than their own child.
    3. Adult volunteers must have current 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English -pdf and Health History Form from parents/guardians before transporting members in any vehicle to any 4-H YDP activity or event.
  8. Supervision and Late Parents
    1. The member is the responsibility of the adult volunteers or 4-H YDP staff member in charge of the meeting or event until a parent/guardian or responsible adult designated by the parent/guardian arrives.
    2. The member must not be left unsupervised, transported (except by law enforcement officials) or released to anyone not specifically authorized by the parent/guardian.
    3. If parents/guardians are late or do not arrive within half an hour of the scheduled ending time, and cannot be contacted, it will be necessary for the adult volunteer or 4-H YDP staff person in charge to contact local law enforcement officials.
  9. Separate Sleeping Facilities for Each Gender
    Only adult volunteers of the same gender as the member may supervise members in the sleeping and restroom areas of an event. No single member is permitted to sleep in the room of an adult volunteer other than his/her own parent/guardian. An unrelated member and adult volunteer must never share a bed.
  10. Restrooms
    It is strongly recommended that separate shower and bathroom facilities be provided for mixed-gender groups. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted.
  11. Respect for an Individual’s Privacy
    Adult volunteers must respect the privacy of members in situations such as changing clothes and should intrude only to the extent that health and safety require. Adult volunteers must protect their own privacy in similar situations.
  12. Youth Leader Training and Supervision
    Youth leaders should be trained as to what constitutes appropriate interaction during 4-H YDP events and activities. 4–H YDP staff and/or adult volunteers must monitor and guide the leadership techniques used by junior and teen leaders.
  13. Constructive Discipline
    Corporal punishment is never permitted in the 4-H YDP. Positive techniques of guidance, including redirection, positive reinforcement, and encouragement rather than competition, comparison, and criticism must be used. 4-H YDP staff, adult volunteers, and junior/teen leaders will maintain age-appropriate behavior expectations and set-up guidelines and environments that minimize the need for discipline.

V. TRAINING AND AWARENESS OF CHILD ABUSE REPORTING PROCEDURES

UC policy and the California Penal Code require that training for 4-H YDP staff that includes identifying and reporting child abuse.

  1. 4-HYDP Staff and County Director Orientation Training
    1. Any 4-HYDP staff or county director who enters into employment on or after January 1, 1985 and who has responsibility for a 4-HYDP program,shall be provided by theappointingUCCE regional office:
      1. A copy of the youth protection policy.
      2. A copy of California Penal Code sections 11165 through 11172.
      3. As a condition of employment, sign a statement that he or she has knowledge of the provisions of California Penal Code sections 11165 through 11172, as set out in this policy, and will comply with the reporting provision.
    2. The regional office shall include this statement for signature in the employment information packet, ensure that employees sign the form, and retain the signed form in the employee’s personal files. See Child_Abuse_Acknowledgement_Statement_Suspected_Child_Abuse.
  2. Training Resources
    1. Training can be obtained through the Child Abuse Prevention Councils in California. These trainings should take place within the first two (2) months of the date of hire.
    2. 4-H YDP staff and county directors are encouraged to also take the on-line training course at http://www.ca4h.org/Resources/Volunteers/Online_Courses/.

VI. REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE

  1. 4-H YDP Mandatory Reporters
    4-H YDP staff are considered to be childcare custodians are mandated reporters and are thus required by law to report suspected child abuse. See California Penal Code sections 11165 through 11172 for more information.
  2. 4-HYDP Voluntary Reporters
    1. Adult volunteers are not considered to be childcare custodians, and are not mandated by law to make such reports. However, the California Penal Code does state that adult volunteers in any public or private organization who supervise children or have direct contact with them are to be provided training by the agency staff (e.g., 4-H YDP staff) or other qualified personnel on how to identify and report child abuse or neglect.
    2. If an adult volunteer suspects child abuse or neglect he/she can notify Child Protection Services or local law enforcement agencies directly. In addition, the county director or 4-H YDP staff should be notified to ensure the safety of other members involved in the 4-H YDP.
  3. What to Report
    It is required by law that mandated reporters report the following types of abuse:
    1. Physical abuse is physical injury (ranging from minor bruises to severe fractures or death) as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, shaking, throwing, stabbing, choking, hitting, burning, or otherwise harming a child. These injuries are considered abuse regardless of whether the caretaker intended to hurt the child (California Penal Code sections 11165.6; 11165.3; 11165.4).
    2. Sexual abuse or molestation includes activities by a parent, caretaker (or other person); e.g., fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, speaking inappropriately, and commercial exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials (California Penal Code section 11165.1).
    3. Emotional abuse is any pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional and/or mental development or sense of self-worth. This may include constant criticism, threats, shaming, or rejection, as well as withholding love, support, or guidance (California Penal Code section 11166.05).
    4. Neglect is failure to provide for a child's basic needs. Neglect can be physical, educational, or emotional. Note that sometimes, the cultural values and/or the economic level of a family can be contributing factors indicating the family’s need for information and assistance. When a family fails to use available information and resources and the child’s needs continue to be unmet, then further child welfare professional intervention may be required (California Penal Code section 11165.2).
    5. Unlawful corporal punishment or injury is defined as a situation where any person willfully inflicts upon any child any cruel or inhuman corporal punishment or injury resulting in a traumatic condition (California Penal Code section 11165.4).
    6. Willful harming or injuring of a child or endangering the person or health of a child means a situation in which any person willfully causes or permits any child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or permits any child to be placed in a situation where his or her health is endangered (California Penal Code section 11165.3).
    7. Serious emotional damage and/or endangered emotional well-being are also defined as child abuse (California Penal Code section 11165.6), and suspicion of such may be reported. However, it is not required by law to be reported.
  4. When to Report
    1. Under the law, a mandated reporter is required to report child abuse if s/he “in his or her professional capacity, or within the scope of his or her employment has knowledge of, or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect” (California Penal Code section 11166[a].)
    2. Therefore, as soon as a 4-H YDP staff person has knowledge of or observes a child whom s/he knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, that staff person must make a report with Child Protective Services.
    3. Specifically, the 4-H YDP staff person should contact Child Protective Services immediately or as soon as practically possible by telephone. The person reporting the suspected abuse shall also prepare and send a written report thereof within thirty-six (36) hours of receiving the information concerning the incident. (California Penal Code section 11166[a].)
    4. Reporting duties are the responsibility of the individual, and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the reporting duties. In addition, no person making such a report shall be subject to any sanction for making the report. Any supervisor or administrator who violates these rights of an individual to report is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) (California Penal Code section 11166.01).
  5. Failure to Make a Report
    A mandated reporter who fails to make a required report of known or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or by a one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine. (California Penal Code section 11166(b).)
  6. Immunity
    1. No mandated reporter who reports a known or suspected instance of child abuse shall be civilly or criminally liable for any report required or authorized by the California Penal Code. No person who is required to file a report pursuant to the California Penal Code, nor any person taking photographs at the child care custodian’s direction, shall incur any civil or criminal liability for taking photographs of a suspected victim of child abuse without parental consent or for disseminating the photographs with the report to the Child Protective Agency.
    2. Any other person, including an adult volunteer, reporting a known or suspected instance of child abuse shall not incur civil or criminal liability as a result of any report authorized by the California Penal Code, unless it can be proven that a false report was made and the person knew that the report was false or was made with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report. Any such person who makes a report of child abuse known to be false or with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the report is liable for any damages caused.

VII. SEARCH OF PERSONAL PROPERTY

  1. Scope of Search
    If a search of personal property is to be conducted of an adult volunteer or member there should be a direct connection between the problematic behavior and the search, and the search should be reasonable in scope given its objective (i.e., looking in backpack and shoes as opposed to more intrusive measures).
  2. Conditions of Search
    Searches must be witnessed by a second individual, requiring that they be conducted under one of the following four conditions:
    1. Two (2) adult volunteers, or
    2. Two (2) 4-H YDP staff members, or
    3. One (1) adult volunteer and one (1) 4-H YDP staff member, or
    4. One (1) adult volunteer and one other adult, if one of the above three conditions is not feasible.
  3. Conditions of Search
    If a search of the person is necessary, the adult volunteer and/or 4-H YDP staff member should make this request verbally. For example, the adult volunteer and/or 4-H YDP staff member might say, “Please empty the contents of your pockets onto the table.” If the individual refuses, the adult volunteer and/or 4-H YDP staff should avoid making direct physical contact. If this should occur in a situation in which safety is a concern, the adult volunteer and/or 4-H YDP staff member should contact the local law enforcement for further action.
  4. Documentation of Search
    Searches must be documented by means of the Insurance_Incident_Report_Form. Copies of the completed Incident Report should be distributed to 4-H YDP staff. Staff will forward the report to the 4-H statewide office, the county office, and the ANR Office of Risk Services.

VIII. EMERGENCY MEDICAL TREATMENT

  1. Medical Treatment Forms
    Members and adult volunteers are required annually to complete medical treatment forms at the time of enrollment. See the 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English -pdf and the 2016-2017 Adult Volunteer Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English - pdf. These forms are also available in Spanish language ( 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - Spanish -pdf and 2016-2017 Adult Volunteer Treatment Authorization and Health History - Spanish - pdf.
  2. HIPPA Requirements
    Emergency Medical Treatment Forms & the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
    1. The HIPAA Privacy Rule creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information.
    2. 4-HYDP is not bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) for the following reasons:
      1. 4-H YDP is not a health insurance provider;
      2. 4-H YDP does not provide health services for a fee; and
      3. 4-H YDP does not act as a clearing house for health programs, insurers, or programs.
  3. Sharing of Medical Information
    1. The law does, however, have important implications for how medical information is shared within the 4-H YDP including camps. The information recorded on the 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English -pdf and the 2016-2017 Adult Volunteer Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English - pdf should be considered as “Protected Health Information.”
    2. 4-HYDP staff and adult volunteers should make all reasonable efforts to see that:
      1. Only authorized individuals have access to health, medication, and related information.
      2. The 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English -pdf and the 2016-2017 Adult Volunteer Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English - pdf and related health information are securely filed to prevent casual access.
      3. Training is provided to adult volunteers (including camp personnel and chaperones) regarding the importance and process of protecting and respecting the privacy of privileged and sensitive health information.
  4. Steps for Handling 4-H YDP Treatment Authorization and Health History Forms
    4-H YDP staff should ensure that the following steps are used in handling 4-H YDP treatment authorization forms and health history information. 
    1. Signed copies of the California 4-H YDP treatment authorization forms must be kept in a file or notebook which can be accessed only by 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers.
    2. Copies may be made and distributed to club and project adult volunteers and chaperones for emergency purposes. Club leaders, project adult volunteers and chaperones are required to keep 4-H YDP treatment authorization forms in a notebook or folder to reduce risk of information being distributed. The notebook or folder should be available at all 4-H YDP events.
    3. For traveling, copies should be provided to adult volunteers for emergency purposes preferably in a notebook or envelope to reduce risk of information being distributed.
    4. During camp, 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers may provide camp counselors with the general medical needs of campers (i.e. camper needs to visit nurse before bed rather than listing camper’s name with specific medications.)
    5. Chronic medical needs such as diabetes, asthma, or hemophilia should be made known to the adult volunteer coordinator, camp counselor, chaperone, etc.

IX. ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND TOBACCO

The following policy applies when youth, adult volunteers, parents/guardians and participants are participating in the 4-H YDP and while performing 4-H YDP duties at non-4-H events.

  1. Participation in 4-H Activities and Non 4-H Events
    1. Adult volunteers shall not consume or be under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco while performing their 4-H YDP duties.
    2. Adult volunteers shall not be impaired by legal drugs while performing their 4-H YDP duties.
    3. Adult volunteers and 4-H YDP staff will not allow alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco use.
    4. The use of alcohol, illegal drugs, smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco products, e-cigarettes and unregulated nicotine products is prohibited.
  2. Non 4-HYDP Events and Alcohol
    1. On some occasions adult volunteers or members may attend non 4-H events at which alcohol is served. In that situation the following policies are to be followed:
      1. There must be adequate assigned supervision of appointed adult volunteers on hand at the event (at least 2 adults for every 8 youth). Adequate assigned supervision is defined as certified adult volunteers age 21 or older. The assigned adult volunteers shall not consume alcoholic beverages while supervising members.
      2. Members shall not handle, or in any way come in contact with alcoholic beverages.
      3. Members shall be supervised while in the vicinity or area in which alcohol is present, whether as a participant, attendee, or server.
      4. Members shall remain out of the area when the activity is completed.
      5. The assigned adult volunteers shall accept the responsibility of supervising members who could potentially come into contact with alcoholic beverages.
      6. Adult volunteers shall be responsible for clearing the tables and/or service of all alcoholic beverages.
      7. It is the responsibility of the 4-H YDP staff to ensure that the assigned adult volunteers understand this policy. Adherence to the policy shall be required at any function where alcoholic beverages are served and 4-H YDP members are in attendance.
  3. Violations
    Members and adult volunteers violating this policy may be asked to refrain from use of the substance and/or to leave the activity, event or function. The county director may impose additional disciplinary action. See the 2016-2017 Member Code of Conduct - English - pdf, the 2016-2017 Adult Volunteer Code of Conduct - English - pdf, the 2016-2017 Parent-Guardian-Adult Participant Code of Conduct - English - pdf and the No_Use_of_Alcohol_Drugs_or_Tobacco_in_the_4-H_YDP_ FAQ.

X. FOODS AND BEVERAGES

  1. Serving of Food
    As set forth in the Food Safety Program Letter of October 22, 2007, the service of safe food should be a priority for all UC events. Any activity where food is served (potlucks, luncheon meetings, etc.) has the risk for food borne illness.
    1. Training
      4-H YDP staff should work with UCCE nutrition, family and consumer science advisors to plan and conduct annual training for adult volunteers and 4-H YDP staff involved with food service activities. Refer to local, county, and state requirements for mandatory training. The Food Safety Education website, Food Safety Brochure and Food Safety Brochure SpanishVersion are available for trainings.
    2. Compliance with Laws and Regulations
      If a 4-H YDP group plans to serve food as part of an official 4-H YDP activity, the food preparation and service must be in compliance with all local (city and county) health department rules and state laws. In addition, it is imperative that all county based rules and regulations governing food service activities be observed, including securing appropriate permits.
    3. Consequences of Non-Compliance
      If a 4-H YDP group is serving or selling food and not in compliance with health regulations, UC will not endorse or assume liability for such functions. Supervising adult volunteers or other adults become personally liable for their actions, should legal claims of negligence arise from the food at the event or activity.
    4. Product Liability
      UC provides product liability insurance for 4-H YDP fund-raising events. Product liability insurance should be requested on the Certificate of Insurance through the ANR Office of Risk Services. Include a request for foods coverage in the Products and Completed Operations Aggregate space under Type of Coverage by writing Products in the amount of insurance requested section on the form.
    5. Prepackaged Foods
      When 4-H YDP programs use or sell prepackaged foods, the manufacturer assumes the legal responsibility for the product.
  2. Drinking Water
    1. Drinkable water, without anything added, must be available at all 4-H meetings, activities and events. See Drinking Water FAQ.
    2. 4-H fundraisers that include the sale of beverages must include water as an option.

XI. INTEGRATING SAFETY INTO THE 4-H YDP CURRICULA

The 4-H Safety Manual and 4-H Clover Safe Notes have been developed to assist 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers in ensuring that safety information is included in project meetings and planning for events and activities. In addition to these safety training resources, the ANR Environmental Health & Safety Office can provide assistance to assess 4-H YDP activities to identify safety hazards and develop specific safety training information. All curricula should be reviewed to ensure that safety information and guidelines are included.

XII. TOOLS, EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY

Many 4-H YDP projects involve various types of tools, equipment, and machinery that involve potential injury risks and hazards. Adult volunteers should assess the potential injury risks and hazards that are associated with the members’ project. Once the risks and hazards have been assessed, the adult volunteer should provide suitable member safety training and/or controls to reduce or eliminate the potential for injuries or illness. Use the Safety_Meeting_Training_Record (or similar form) to document your discussion of the use of personal protective equipment and other equipment, tools, machinery, and/or materials used as part of the project.

XIII. ALL TERRAIN VEHICLES (ATVs)

  1. Restrictions for Youth Under 18 Years of Age.
    Whenever all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are used in a 4-H YDP activity (including projects, fairs, etc.) on California public lands, members under the age of 18 may operate an ATV only if they:
    1. Are taking a prescribed safety training course under the direction of a certified all-terrain vehicle instructor;
    2. Are under the direct supervision of an adult volunteer that has been appointed in California;
    3. Have a safety certificate issued by California or another state (CVC Section 38503).
    See Clover Safe #5, All-Terrain Vehicle Safety for more information
  2. Restrictions For Youth Under 14 Years of Age
    ATV member operators under the age of 14 shall not drive on California public lands unless they satisfy one of the three conditions set forth above for operators under the age 18 years and are accompanied by or under the direct supervision of a parent/guardian or an adult authorized by a parent/guardian (CVC 38504).
  3. Helmets
    ATV operators (both members and adult volunteers) are required to wear approved helmets (CVC Section 38505) and as a good safety practice, should always wear eye protection.
  4. Passengers
    Passengers are not allowed on ATVs (CVC Section 38506).

XIV. TRACTORS

  1. Farm Tractors
    Farm tractors (20 horsepower or more) shall not be operated by 4-H members less than 17 years old.
  2. Lawn Tractors
    1. 4-H members under 17 years old may operate lawn tractors (less than 20 horsepower) as part of a 4-H YDP project or Lawn Tractor skills contest activities, provided that safe operating principles are made an integral part of the curriculum or contest.
    2. Any members violating safety rules or not passing safety tests may not be allowed to operate a lawn tractor.
    3. During a skills contest, the lawn tractor(s) shall be equipped with an automatic shut-off switch that will turn off the motor and stop the tractor when the operator leaves the seat. Additionally, the mower or any other powered implements will have any blades removed or be otherwise disabled.

XV. MOTOR PROPELLED VEHICLE RESTRICTIONS SUMMARY TABLE

CALIFORNIA 4-H YDP MOTOR PROPELLED VEHICLE RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC LANDS

Type of Vehicle

Regulation or 4-H Policy

Minimum Age

Safety Equipment

Other Issues

Farm Tractor (More than 20 Horsepower)

4-H Policy

17 years

Hat, Shirt, Shoes, Pants

No Passengers

Lawn Tractor (Less than 20 HorsepoweR)

4-H Policy

12 YEARS:
DIRECT ADULT SUPERVISION

Hat, Shirt, Shoes, Pants

No Passengers

ATV

California Vehicle Code, 38503, 38504

Under 18: Supervised or Safety Certificate
Under 14: Supervised

Helmet, Eye Protection, Shirt, Shoes, Pants, Gloves

No Passengers

Motorized Dirt Bike

California Vehicle Code, 12804.9

 

4-H Policy

16 years: License, On Road, Complete Basic Motorcycle Rider Safety Course

12 Years: Off Road,
Complete Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Dirt Bike School or adult volunteer project leader must be a qualified dirt bike instructor and make safety an integral part of the 4-H project curriculum.

 

Helmet, Eye Protection, Shirt, Shoes, Pants, Chest Protector, Knee Guards, Kidney Belt, Gloves

 

 

No Passengers

Dune Buggy

California Vehicle Code, 12804.9

18 years: Drivers License

Helmet, Eye Protection, Shirt, Shoes, Pants.

 

Snowmobile

4-H Policy

16 years

Helmet, Eye Protection, Boots, Cold Weather Clothing
(i.e. Snowmobile Suit)

No Passengers

XVI. BICYCLE HELMETS

  1. State Law
    California law requires any person under 18 years of age to wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet when operating or riding as a passenger on a bicycle. The law applies whether the bike is ridden on the street, a bikeway, or a public bicycle path or trail.
  2. 4-H YDP Requirements
    4-H YDP policy requires that youth wear bike helmets when riding during 4-H YDP activities and events.
  3. Helmet Standards
    Bicycle helmets must meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the Snell Memorial Foundations Standards for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling. These labels must be conspicuously displayed. It is the responsibility of the rider or the rider’s parent/guardian to see to it that the headgear worn complies with such approval standards, carries the proper seals, and is properly fitted and in good condition. See Clover Safe #41, California Bicycling Requirements and #42, Bicycling Safety.

XVII. EQUESTRIAN HELMETS

  1. 4-H YDP Requirements
    All members and adult volunteers, regardless of riding seat, shall wear a properly fitted equestrian helmet which meets ASTM/SEI standards (information about the importance of ASTM/SEI standards can be found at http://animalscience.uconn.edu/equine/helmetSafety/index.htm.) with secured chin harness properly fastened at all times when mounted on a horse or in a vehicle being pulled by one or more horses as part of any 4-H YDP equestrian activity.
  2. Recommendations
    It is recommended that a helmet be worn at all times when handling any horse (i.e., grooming, clipping, lunging, showmanship class, and other ground work in a group setting).
  3. Parent and Guardian Responsibility
    It is the responsibility of the rider or the rider’s parent/guardian to see to it that the headgear worn complies with such approval standards and carries the proper seals, and is properly fitted and in good condition. 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers are not responsible for checking headgear for compliance. UC makes no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, about such headgear and cautions riders that serious injury may result despite wearing headgear, as no helmet can protect against all unforeseeable injuries in equestrian sports.
  4. Compliance
    At any time during a 4-H YDP equestrian activity, the adult volunteers (e.g., horse show manager, clinic organizer, club volunteer) may check a participant's equestrian helmet for proper standards. Members or adult volunteers found to be wearing an unapproved or defective helmet will not be permitted to participate in any mounted or driving activity until a proper helmet is acquired.

XVIII. SKIING and SNOWBOARDING HELMETS

  1. 4-H YDP Requirements
    Youth members or guest participants shall wear helmets during any 4-H YDP skiing and snowboarding activities and events.
  2. Helmet Standards
    Snow sports helmets must meet accepted standards such as ASTM F2040, Snell RS-98, or other appropriate certifying agency. It is the responsibility of the participant or the participant’s parent/guardian to ensure that the headgear worn complies with such manufacturing standards, carries the proper seals, and is properly fitted and in good condition.

XIX. MEETING PLACE SAFETY

Prior to holding a meeting, it is a prudent and recommended practice to evaluate the configuration, accommodations, limitations, and hazards of the space. Once these aspects of the meeting space have been evaluated, then guidelines, instructions, or other information can be developed or provided to safely manage the meeting and space, as appropriate. 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers in charge should know what to do in case of an accident. Emergency phone numbers should be available. The location of the nearest phone should be known. The location of fire extinguishers and fire alarms should be noted. See Clover Safe #15, Holding and Attending 4-H Meetings in Private Residences and Clover Safe #28, Meeting Space Safety Checklists.

XX. PETTING ZOOS AND INTERACTIVE DISPLAYS

  1. Introduction
    Increasingly, 4-H YDP groups are involved in providing community opportunities to enjoy and learn about small animals. Extensive guidelines can be found at ANR EH&S - Petting Zoos - 4-H Resources.
  2. Reducing Risks
    Petting zoos or similar interactive animal displays can be fun and educational activities for members and the general public. However, there is a risk of illness or injury during contact with animals. These risks can be reduced or eliminated by implementing several measures, including managing the human-animal interactive experience, providing hand washing facilities, and informing visitors about safe conduct with animals.
  3. Requirements
    The following must be followed when a 4-HYDP unit wishes to host a petting zoo:
    1. Petting zoos must only feature small (i.e., animals weighing 100 pounds or less), miniature, or young animals. Full grown cows, horses, hogs or other large animals pose a greater risk of injury to petting zoo visitors and may not be featured in 4-H YDP sponsored petting zoos.
    2. Petting zoo animals shall be screened to eliminate those that exhibit aggressiveness, signs of illness, or other types of poor behavior.
    3. Newborn animals are not appropriate for petting zoos and shall not be featured.
    4. Petting zoo pen and enclosure areas shall be effectively managed and supervised to provide environments that are safe and healthy for both visitors and animals and their interactions.
    5. In addition to any state or local regulations or fair policies, groups operating petting zoos shall follow the recommendations of the most current version of the Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV). http://www.nasphv.org/Documents/AnimalsInPublicSettings.pdf)

XXI. PESTICIDE USE

Members under the age of 18 are prohibited from using pesticides as part of 4-H activities.

XXII. TRANSPORTATION

  1. Notification
    4-H YDP staff members are responsible for notifying adult volunteers that they must comply with vehicular laws and regulations. This can be accomplished through adult volunteer appointment letters, newsletters, orientation meetings, and workshops.
  2. Field Trip and Out of County Transportation
    1. Adult volunteers who are transporting members in personal or commercial vehicles to any 4-H YDP activity or event including club field trips and activities, and county, regional or state activities must have a current 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English -pdf.
    2. Adult volunteers who are transporting members on field trips or long distances to official functions should carry:
      1. A first aid kit,
      2. 2016-2017 Member Treatment Authorization and Health History Form - English -pdf,
      3. Emergency accessories such as reflectors, fire extinguishers, and
      4. Other supplies, such as shovels and blankets, necessary for adverse weather conditions.
  3. Riding in Back of Pickup Trucks
    California law prohibits riding in the back of a pickup or flatbed motor truck, except in a parade or similar event where the street(s) is closed to normal traffic
  4. Passenger Vans
    In accordance with recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Board that cite an increased risk of roll-over accidents, 15-passenger vans, regardless of back row seat being removed, shall not be used to transport youth members, volunteers, or staff as part of any 4-H activity.
  5. Youth Drivers
    Members are not authorized to drive on behalf of 4-H YDP and shall not transport other members to and from any 4-H YDP function.

XXIII. WATER SAFETY

  1. Introduction
    Many 4-H YDP projects or events involve activities that occur in, on, or near water. 4-H YDP staff and adult volunteers are responsible for the safety of members and therefore, must proactively identify, evaluate, and reduce any potential water hazard risks associated with an activity. See 4-H Water Safety Guidelines.
  2. Reducing Water Hazards
    Reducing water hazard risks encompasses the following types of actions:
    1. Informing members of water hazards and safety concerns.
    2. Requiring the use of personal protective equipment such as personal flotation devices when appropriate (such as boating or swimming in rivers).
    3. Obtaining the services of a certified river rafting guide for whitewater or swift water rafting trips.
    4. Assuring an appropriately certified lifeguard is present for swimming or other activities where water contact is expected such as surfing.
      1. “Appropriately certified lifeguard” means someone who has completed a lifeguard training program sanctioned by a group such as the American Red Cross or American Lifeguard Association.
      2. It can be assumed that lifeguards provided at public pools or beaches are appropriately certified.
      3. Lifeguards should be certified at the appropriate level for the type of water body they are supervising. For example, deep (more than 4 feet deep) or shallow water (4 feet deep or less) swimming pool lifeguard certification, ocean certification for ocean lifeguards, or waterfront certification for lake and river lifeguards.
      4. The designated lifeguard’s role is to supervise the activity and s/he must not engage in other distracting activities (such as reading or using a telephone).
      5. A minimum of one lifeguard shall be present for any 4-H swimming or activity where water contact is expected. Additional lifeguards shall be present, in the ratio of one for every 25 4-H swimming participants, at any 4-H managed swimming venues such as those at 4-H camps or a private pool or beach. Lifeguards at public pools and beaches are provided at sufficient ratios.
    5. Verifying members have received training from an experienced instructor about water craft and recreational activities and associated equipment such as surfing, water skiing, and scuba diving.
    6. Restricting member access to certain water hazards.
    7. Closely monitoring members when they are near water.
    8. Identifying supervising adults in addition to lifeguards and assigning them tasks and timeframes to assist in the monitoring of members. The recommended chaperone ratio is two (2) supervising adult volunteers for up to ten (10) youth swimmers and an additional adult supervisor for each additional five (5) youth swimmers. See following table.
      Youth Swimmers Adult Supervisors Certified Lifeguards
      1-10 2 1
      11-15 3 1
      16-20 4 1
      21-25 5 1
      26+ 1 additional supervisor for each 5 swimmers 1 additional lifeguard for each 25 swimmers
    9. 4-H members are prohibited from operating motor boats and personal water craft (i.e. jet ski) as part of 4-H activities.

XXIV. CHALLENGE/ROPES COURSE

When conducting challenge or ropes courses as part of a 4-H YDP activity the following are required:

  1. Installation and Operations
    Installation and operation of challenge or ropes courses shall adhere to the standards established by the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA) 
  2. Helmets
    Approved helmets must be worn by all participants involved in or around high challenge/ropes course elements when participating on a course that is above the participant’s height. An “approved helmet” is one that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA).
  3. Harnesses
    Climbing harnesses shall be used on all high course elements.
  4. Facilitators
    Facilitators who lead challenge/ropes course must have demonstrated training and experience in operating courses with youth participants that meet accepted safety standards from organizations such as PRCA, ACCT, or others.

XXV. ANIMAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES

  1. Introduction
    Through non-formal educational experiences project members shall use 4-H animal science projects as a means to learn responsibility for the care and treatment of their animals. 4-H does not condone the mistreatment of animals; 4-H expects that all animals will be cared for and treated in a responsible manner. Through learning experiences, project members shall learn and use safe and accepted practices when handling and caring for their animals.
    1. Food Animal Species:
      4-H supports management practices for the proper care and treatment of food animals as developed through research and industry-tested practices outlined in resources such as the University of California, Cooperative Extension’s Animal Care Series and the Federation of Animal Science Societies’ Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching. Based on the information put forth in these and other resources, species-specific guidelines will be developed.
    2. Companion Animal Species:
      4-H supports management practices for the proper care and treatment of companion animals as developed through research and industry-tested practices outlined in resources such as the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Animal Welfare Principles and the California Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA) Eight Principles of Animal Care and Use.
  2. Purpose
    1. Each 4-H YDP animal project shall include learning experiences appropriate to the species of animal, to ensure that members understand and practice the standards of proper care and treatment of animals.
    2. Educational materials shall be reviewed on a regular basis by a committee appointed through the state 4-H office to ensure that the content reflects current accepted animal care and handling practices.
  3. Competition with Animals
    1. Fairs, shows, exhibitions and similar events involving 4-H YDP members and their animals shall be conducted according to UC accepted animal care standards. Special attention is needed for transportation, safe housing, adequate feed and water, ample space, proper handling, facility design, and proper management and showmanship.
    2. Events such as greased pig contests, calf scramble contests, or other events for entertainment, in which youth randomly capture animals from a group or compete against animals, are not acceptable and will not be planned, supported, or approved for 4-H YDP member participation.
  4. Liability Insurance and Animal Ownership
    UC does not provide liability coverage for injury or damage caused by animals. 4-H YDP staff should refer individuals or families desiring this type of insurance to their insurance agents. Insurance agents can also advise the policyholder about coverage that may already be provided through their existing tenant or homeowner insurance policy.

XXVI. TRAILERS

  1. Approval
    County and regional directors must approve the purchase of any trailers for use in the 4-H YDP. If approved, trailers procured shall be registered to the Regents of the University of California. Such trailers shall be obtained for educational purposes only.
  2. Insurance Requirements
    If 4-H adult volunteers handle or tow UC owned trailers, the adult volunteer should be informed that in the event of an accident during the performance of their duties as a 4-H adult volunteer, their personal automotive insurance would be primary, with UC covering damages beyond the limits of the policy of the volunteer. See also General_Liability_and_Automobile_Insurance_FAQ
  3. Safe Towing
    All individuals operating UC-owned trailers (both UC employees as well as UCCE volunteers) should have previous experience at towing a trailer and should follow safety procedures as outlined in Safety Note # 90, Driving Safely While Towing a Trailer.

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Page Last Updated: May 15, 2017
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