BURRILLVILLE – Burrillville-based cartoonist and safety advocate Jim Weicherding has been very busy over the past couple of weeks creating Covid, Flu and Infection Prevention Coloring Cartoons for students returning to school for the start of the 2020-2021 year.

“This school year has a whole new feel to it and that is due to the Coronavirus epidemic (that) we have all been dealing with since March,” said Weicherding.

The artist said he does not take his creative work lightly and when it comes to conveying the proper messages to kids and families, and that he takes extra steps to insure that his messages are correct and accurate. He receives numerous awards, year after year, for his creative contributions in regards to child, teen and family safety and healthy habits – which he wouldn’t garner without dedicating himself to accuracy and proper messages that are effective and straight to the point.

Other professionals in this field feel the same way, leading Weicherding to work directly with the Rhode Island Department Of Health. He says he sent their offices his ideas and concepts, along with his cartoon characters and artwork, about effectively reaching out to kids and families about his concerns for the students returning to schools this year, and received an almost immediate response.

Dr. James McDonald, medical director for the Rhode Island Department Of Health, responded quickly by sending tips that could be translated into coloring cartoons.

Weicherding notes that McDonald found his work impressive, and the medical director is credited for providing the tips on the bottom of the new cartoons.

The artist’s popular intellectual properties “Itty Bitty Super Dupers,” featuring “Victor Virus” and “Bus Stop Kids” are ready for distribution across the state. Weicherding has been creating these types of safety cartoons for federal, state and municipal governments for 20 years with very effective results.

He notes that with the latest set, he wanted to help reduce any fears and anxieties kids might be dealing with by creating cartoon characters that look just like they do when wearing masks.

The Covid, Flu and Infection Prevention Coloring Cartoons will be distributed into grade schools, daycares, pediatric doctors offices, family clinics, libraries, community centers, restaurants, diners, retail locations, plazas and malls across the state of Rhode Island over the coming months, preparing for the upcoming respiratory infection season later this fall, and through the winter months.

He will also provide them to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for handouts in their ER, activity rooms and patients’ rooms. He has been creating child safety cartoons for the hospital since they opened their doors more than 25 years ago.

You can find many of Weicherding’s cartoons by clicking his name under the title of this article above. Readers are invited to print cartoons from the series as a way to help discuss different safety topics with their kids.

Currently, Weicherding is working with McDonald to create new cartoons focused on in-home, outside activities and playground activities that are virus friendly.  McDonald recently sent him written tips to convert into the cartoons, which will be created and available soon statewide. They will also be featured on this website when they are completed and approved by the Rhode Island Department Of Health.

Parents are also invited to check out the Itty Bitty Super Dupers website by visiting www.ittybittysuperdupers.comfor more of Weicherding’s cartoons.

Weicherding is reaching out to other states across the country to offer his Covid, Flu and Infection Prevention Coloring Cartoons for their students too.

“Millions of little kids nationwide will be reaching for their crayons and colored markers over the coming months while staying safe and healthy during the upcoming flu and cold season,” Weicherding said. “Who says prevention can’t be educational as well as fun for kids?”

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