Date issued: 11/3/2022
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that parents and caregivers do not use infant head shaping pillows intended to change an infant’s head shape or symmetry or claim to prevent or treat any medical condition. The FDA is not aware of any demonstrated benefit with the use of infant head shaping pillows for any medical purpose. The use of head shaping pillows can create an unsafe sleep environment for infants and may contribute to the risk of suffocation and death.
Infant head shaping pillows are not FDA-approved. The safety and effectiveness of these products have not been established for the prevention or treatment of flat head syndromeExternal Link Disclaimer (also known as positional plagiocephalyExternal Link Disclaimer or deformational plagiocephalyExternal Link Disclaimer), or the more serious condition where the developing infant’s skull bones join together too early (known as craniosynostosis).
Infant head shaping pillows are typically small pillows, with an indent or hole in the center designed to cradle the back of an infant’s head while the infant lays face up, flat on its back. Sometimes these pillows do not have an indent or hole in the center and are rectangular shaped. These medical devices are marketed with claims to improve an infant’s head shape and symmetry and claim to prevent or treat flat head syndrome or other medical conditions. However, the safety and effectiveness of the use of these medical devices has not been demonstrated.
The FDA is informing parents, caregivers, and health care providers of the risks associated with use of infant head shaping pillows. The FDA is working with stakeholders to increase awareness of the issue.
Recently, the FDA became aware of companies marketing infant head shaping pillows with claims for the prevention and treatment of flat head syndrome without FDA clearance or approval. The FDA has communicated our concerns about these promotional materials to these companies and will continue to monitor promotional materials and claims for these medical devices.
The FDA will keep the public informed if significant new information becomes available.
If you experience adverse events associated with using an infant head shaping pillow, we encourage you to file a voluntary report through MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program. Health care personnel employed by facilities that are subject to FDA's user facility reporting requirements should follow the reporting procedures established by their facilities.
Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States - recent changes (updated 9-2-22)
Update posting 9-13-22.
(CDC) Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning updated 10-5-22:
Review the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)'s suggestions COVID-19 Best Practices for Early Childhood Education (ECE)
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released several policy announcements that pertain to the child care regulations for certified child care facilities. Child care providers can go to the Pennsylvania Key website to understand what is required to be in compliance with the established CCDF regulations and the Pennsylvania Child Care Regulations. Compliance dates for these announcements is April 29, 2022.
OCDEL released the policy announcement C-22-04, Updated Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning Regulations and Requirements for Child Care Facilities.
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Bureau of Early Learning Policy and Professional Development and Bureau of Certification has released Announcement C-22-06 Updated Health and Safety Pre-Service and One-Hour Training, effective Oct. 4, 2022. This Announcement provides details that all current child care staff who completed the previous health and safety pre-service training modules, prior to October 4, 2022, are required to complete the Pennsylvania Health and Safety Update 2022 Versión en español: Actualización de Salud y Seguridad de Pennsylvania 2022) by December 30, 2022. Beginning December 30, 2022, citations for non-compliance with any requirements to obtain health and safety professional development training updates required by OCDEL within the prescribed timeframe will be issued under 55 Pa. Code §3270.14, §3270.21, §3280.14, §3280.20, and §3290.18, all pertaining to compliance with “pertinent laws and regulations” and “general health and safety.” Also included is the list of previous versions of the health and safety pre-service training expiring Oct. 31, 2022. [posted 10-6-22]
The Pennsylvania Department of Health issues COVID-19 and other health recommendations through the PA Health Alert Network (PA HAN). See link for current 2022 Health Alerts, Advisories and Updates.
The Health Alert Network is part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Program and was established under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PA HAN serves as a communication network among state and local public health agencies, health care providers, hospitals and emergency management officials. The information provided on the PA-HAN website is based upon recommendations from the CDC and other health organizations. If you are a public health professional, sign up for the Pennsylvania Health Alert Network (PA HAN).
Contact your own healthcare provider for more guidance. If you have other questions, call your local health department or 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).
Every 3 Minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room and over 60 percent of food allergy reactions at school take place in preschools and child care facilities, notes the Food Allergy Research & Education’s (FARE) website. Keeping children with food allergies safe and healthy can present a special challenge in early care and education programs if you are not prepared.
Learn about strategies to manage children with challenging behaviors. Complete ECELS Managing Challenging Behaviors in Young Children Self Learning Module (SLM). This updated online module will help you promote mental health in young children. Explore risk factors for challenging behaviors and use tools to review behaviors related to development. Share resources to help children with challenging behaviors and their families. Identify policies to help prevent suspension and expulsion of children. The per person fee is $15.00 for each module submitted. Addresses Pennsylvania’s Pre-Kindergarten Learning Standards for Early Childhood Standard Areas 16.1-3
Use the following to share facts, credible information and updates from the Pennsylvania Department of Health Website.
Human coronaviruses are a family of viruses that commonly cause mild to moderate illness like the common cold. A new human coronavirus, called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. Symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus can include:
Use these additional credentialed sources to share information and updates with families and staff:
Stay vigilant about infection control practices in your program to reduce spread of all common illnesses. Implement the daily health check recommended in Caring for Our Children Standard 18.104.22.168.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. The latest research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that 46% of car seats are misused. The best way to reduce crash fatalities among children is to always select a car seat, belt-positioning booster seat, or lap and shoulder seat belt based on the child’s age and size. Correctly installing a car seat and proper adjustment and fit of the harness or seat belt will improve a child’s safety when traveling. Data from crashes that occurred in 2020 found that more than a third of the children ages 12 and younger who died in cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs were unbuckled. Never let children ride unbuckled—the consequences could be devastating. For information on achieving correct car seat use, attend a car seat check event, follow these and the manufacturer's instructions.
The single most effective way to protect children, and all vehicle occupants, is to correctly buckle them in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt that is appropriate for their age and size. Car seat check events provide hands-on guidance on the correct selection, installation and use of the appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt based on a child’s age, weight, height, and developmental needs. To locate a car seat check/fitting station click here. Car seat check events are also listed at www.pakidstravelsafe.org under Events. If caregivers click ‘Fitting stations’ they can search by county for a car seat technician near them.
Best practice is for all vehicle passengers to be secured in a car seat, belt-positioning booster seat, or seat belt that is appropriate for their size. Parents and caregivers are role models for children and by wearing a seat belt, children learn the importance of buckling up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found when a driver is buckled, children are restrained 92% of the time and conversely when the driver is unbuckled, children are restrained about 68% of the time.
From PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project, PA Chapter - American Academy of Pediatrics 9-2022
Did you know…
ECELS has valuable tools to help you meet the new STARS Standard LM 2.5 Program uses Caring for Our Children to establish policies and practices regarding care plans for children with special medical needs as well as medication administration.
1. Use Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th Ed. form-field version to adapt a policy for your program. See Section 10-Health Plan, items E, F, and Appendix X - Medication Administration Packet. Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th Ed. is consistent with Caring for Our Children, 3rd Ed. online (CFOC3).
2. Use the ECELS Care Plan for Children with Special Needs and Process to Enroll documents.
3. Unavailble- The online self-learning module is temporarily unavailable while ECELS updates the format. The ECELS Self-Learning Module, Children with Medical and Developmental Special Needs, Inclusive Practices educates staff about caring for children with special needs as well as medication administration. (2 hours credit)