Zika coloring book opens communication for kids

(Source: ADPH)
(Source: ADPH)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Sometimes explaining a complicated topic can be done a lot easier when you break it down to the simple facts, and bring some crayons.

The hope of the Alabama Department of Public Health and its new coloring book. The goal is to get the conversation going between parents and young kids when it comes to the Zika virus.

"The graphic artist, when we created the coloring book, wanted to make it colorful and fun and not scary," said Takenya Taylor with the Alabama Department of Public Health. "We wanted it to be educational without being scary."

The Zika virus can be a little scary. There is a lot we don't know about it yet. We do know there have been three confirmed cases in Alabama. A lot of the cases in the US are coming from people visiting Central and South America. The symptoms are usually mild but can include fever, aches, and red eyes. The big concern right now is the possibility it may cause birth defects in pregnant women.

So the book finds a creative and simple way to show folks how to prevent mosquito breeding around the home, and how to protect yourself. This is a very important time of year.
 
"Kids play sports, they are outside doing a lot of activities, and that's when mosquitoes are most often out. So we tried to find a way to make this educational for kids and parents."

So school is either out or almost out for most kids. The Alabama Department of Public Health plans to give out these books at the YMCA or summer camps so kids can bring them home and start the conversation. You can also download and print out the coloring book at home in English or Spanish for free.

[DOCUMENT: Here is a link to the coloring book (.pdf)]

Here's a link to the Alabama Department of Public Health Zika information page.

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