Health & Safety


Accidents, Injury, Loss of Property

Extension staff and volunteers that lead 4-H programs, projects, or activities need to protect participants and others from harm. In the event of an accident, injury, or other incident, it is important to respond proactively.

If the incident/accident occurred under the supervision of a volunteer, the volunteer should complete the non-employee injury/incide​nt report and submit it to the local Extension staff person. If the injury/incident poses a serious risk to 4-H Program participant(s), Extension volunteer(s), or a third party, the volunteer providing supervision should IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY Extension staff using the procedures outlined in the Wisconsin 4-H Volunteer Injury and Incident Reporting​ Procedures.​

Report Submission (Extension Staff Only)
If the Extension staff person was supervising or received a report from a volunteer the Extension staff should follow the instructions for how to report high-risk injuries & incidents in the employee handbook.

Report/Record Retention (Extension Staff Only)
The Extension staff should also keep a copy of the report in a secure location in the event you need to file a claim to the company holding accident insurance coverage, i.e. American Income Life; three years for adults or until age 21 for youth.​

Electronic Communications and Social Media

The 4-H code of conduct that is required during in-person contact is enforced for electronic communications.

To minimize the risk of misconduct resulting from electronic communications between adults and minors involved in 4-H programing, all communications between authorized adults who are not related to the youth and youth program participants must be professional in nature and must be limited to information about program activities.

  • Authorized adults, (extension educators, volunteers), and peer-leaders communicating with youth program participants regarding Extension programming must include parents/guardians, program staff, multiple youth or another authorized adult in electronic communications.
  • Club or other group pages focused on the program can be used for appropriate interactions between authorized adults and youth program participants.
  • Quick calls, texts, or other communications from an authorized adult to a youth program participant are allowed for emergency reasons, confirmation of location, or other logistical matters surrounding Extension programming.
  • Consent requirements by age:
    • For youth under the age of 13 parental consent is required. Consent needs to be in writing; this may be handled electronically, such as through an email.
    • The record of consent must be maintained.
    • For youth 13 and over parents must be notified of the intent to correspond through electronic communication, this can also be done by email, and Parents/guardians may request in writing that their youth program participants not be contacted directly through any form of electronic communication by authorized adults. Consent is presumed when this has not occurred.
    • Authorized adults, (4-H educators, faculty, and volunteers), must abide by any request from a parent/guardian or young person seeking to prevent or suspend electronic communication.

Health Forms and Health Coordinator Policy

Wisconsin 4-H staff and/or volunteers are REQUIRED to collect the UW-Madison Youth Event Health Form from all youth participants for all overnight 4-H programs and/or activities.  It is RECOMMENDED that Wisconsin 4-H Staff and/or volunteers collect the UW-Madison Youth Event Health Form from all youth participants for all 4-H programs and/or activities that are three or more hours in duration and where 4-H staff or volunteers are in custodial care.*

* It is recommended that staff or volunteers in custodial care of youth in programs less than 3 hours should have access to emergency contact information for youth participants.


  • ALL overnight 4-H programs and activities must be reviewed and approved by the 4-H Program Educator.
  • A Health Coordinator is required when collecting health forms. 
  • All health forms must be reviewed and in the possession of a Health Coordinator during the 4-H program or activity.
  • All health forms must be submitted to the Extension Office following the 4-H program or activity to comply with UW-Madison Records Retention policies.

Volunteer Health Coordinator

The Volunteer Health Coordinator role provides leadership for the health and safety needs of participants and works cooperatively with youth and adult volunteers in providing a safe event for youth.  More information can be found on the Volunteer Health Coordinator Resources webpage.    

Health Forms

Other important information about Health Forms:

  • The official UW-Madison Health Form has been reviewed and approved by UW-Madison Legal Counsel and the Office of Risk Management. No other health forms are to be used. 
  • Health forms for adults are recommended but not required. 
  • Youth participants that are 18 years and older can sign their own Health Form. 
  • Authorized facsimile or scanned signatures are acceptable.

Preventing the Spread of Illness and Disease

For communicative accommodations in languages other than English, please contact

Para pedir adecuaciones para la comunicación en un idioma distinto al inglés, favor de comunicarse con:

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