News

There has been information in the news about metals found in baby food. Here’s what you need to know from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP explores the facts in “Metals in Baby Food”. Although some metals can be harmful to one’s health, recent reports are unclear on the types and amounts of metals found in infant and toddler foods. Without information on the levels of metals found in these foods, it is hard to know which foods to avoid. We do know that metals are present in our foods, but some foods will have more than others depending on how and where they are grown. Some of the most common metals that get into food, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, include inorganic arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury.

To reduce baby's exposure to metals, parents and early care and education (ECE) programs should:
  • Serve a variety of foods
  • Rotate the grains you serve.
  • Check the water.
  • Make healthy fish choices.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Breastfeed if possible
  • See Metals in Baby Food for additional information.
Experts say there's no need to get children tested until more information about metals in baby foods becomes available. Tests that look at a child's hair for metal exposure also are not recommended, since this type of testing is scientifically unproven and often inaccurate.

Talk with the infant’s pediatrician if you're concerned about metals exposure. The regional Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) have staff who can also talk with parents or ECE staff about concerns over environmental toxins.  

Source: Metals in Baby Food on www.healthychildren.org accessed 1/6/2020; Council on Environmental Health (Copyright © 2018 American Academy of Pediatrics). 
 

A recent study in Pediatrics, “Infant Deaths in Sitting Devices,” reviewed the safety of infant sitting devices. The study found over 300 sleep-related infant deaths from 2004-2014 happened in car seats, strollers, bouncers, swings, and other infant seats. Most sleep-related infant deaths in sitting devices occurred in car seats.

Incorrect use of car seats led to most infant deaths in this type of device. Sleep-related infant deaths in sitting devices were more likely to happen when an infant was supervised by a caregiver or child care provider.
Car seats are safe and effective for infant travel. Always remove an infant from a car seat after traveling. It is OK if an infant falls asleep in a car seat while traveling. Transfer sleeping infants from a car seat to a safe sleep environment, such as a crib. If an infant is in a sitting device and falls asleep, move the child to a crib.
Avoid using sitting devices as a substitute for a crib, basinet, or pack and play. Sleeping in a seated position can restrict breathing and may lower blood oxygen levels in infants. Injuries and death have occurred when devices fall from a surface or when straps have entrapped body parts.

ECELS Webinar - Immunization Strategies for Success in Early Care and Education Programs - January 16, 2020. Registration for this webinar is now closed, however the recording will be posted and available for professional development credit.  Click here for details.

The influenza (flu) virus is common and unpredictable. Plan ahead for this year's flu season.  See ECELS Health Capsule Influenza: Plan Ahead - Flu Season is Here for current information and strategies to support flu vaccination for all staff and children in early care and education programs. 

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 needs, asthma, medical needs, food allergies, and 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. Use the ECELS Self-Learning Module, Children with Medical and Developmental Special Needs, Inclusive Practices to educate staff about caring for children with special needs,  using care plans and making adaptations. (2 hours credit)

If you have questions about these tools, please send an email with your contact information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sign-up on this website to receive E-Mail Alerts from ECELS about news or key new postings on this website. Please click on the orange button on the home page to access this function. In addition, child care health consultants have an opportunity to request access to a password-protected site where ECELS is posting lesson plans for qualified instructors. To access this function, select the role "Health Professional, Child Care Health Consultant, Child Care Health Advocate" at the bottom left of the home page, and then click on the button "Health Consultant Registration" for the log-in request. Updated 4/8/14.

Now is a good time to remind infant caregivers of safe sleep recommendations and the prohibition of use of blankets.  See the Infant Safe Sleep Recommendations.   11/2019

Register for the Spring 2020 online Child Care Health Advocate Course at Northampton Community College (NCC).The course runs from January 13-May 11, 2020. Directors, lead teachers and others in the early education field learn to assess, identify, and prioritize health and safety needs of children and staff. View the course content and details in the attached documents.