Choking is a common cause of death for young children. Choking on food is most common. The food that is most often the cause is hot dogs. The most most frequent non-food cause is latex balloons. This one page fact sheet identifies what to do to prevent choking for young children. Use it as a handout or poster. Updated 2/2019.

A current poster with guidelines for CPR, including choking and first aid for other emergency conditions is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics bookstore. The guidelines say give Compressions first, then check the Airway, and then support Breathing with mouth to nose and mouth or mouth-to-mouth breaths (C-A-B). The C-A-B sequence applies to adults, children and infants. It does not apply to newborns. The AAP "3-in-1 First Aid/Choking/CPR" poster gives these instructions and gives brief instructions for what to do for common injuries too. Visit the AAP Bookstore to order copies of the new poster.  Reviewed and updated 5/2018.

The attached ECELS Health and Safety Checklist includes references. It was updated December 2011 as Version 1.4. This tool guides the user to the appropriate national health and safety standard(s) and other related references for each item. Each item is cross-referenced with corresponding topics from: Caring for Our Children:  National Health and Safety Performance Standards, 3rd Edition, 2011 (CFOC) , the Environmental Rating Scales (ITERS-R, Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale - Revised Edition; ECERS-R, Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Revised Edition); and the Pennsylvania Child Care Facility Licensing Regulations. Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2018.

Plan to stay safe and healthy during a disaster. Every early care and education program should have a detailed plan for a disaster. Plans should include what to do about food, water, supplies, and documentation. Arrangements for evacuation, including transportation are essential. Sample plans are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition, Chapter 13, has fill-in-the-blank (form-field) policies for emergencies and disasters. The Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS) offers an Emergency Plan Checklist and Emergency Planning Self - Learning Module for 2 hours of professional development credit.

The widely-used Emergency Information Form on the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) records key health information for children with special health care needs. It should be completed and kept up-to-date, ready to give to Emergency Service Personnel who may not be familiar with the child's needs. Early education and before and after school personnel should use the information on the form to prepare for care a child might need in the event of an emergency that involves only the child or the group in the facility. It documents the child's medical history, medications, and treatments. To view and download the form, go to the AAP website at www.aap.org, and then enter "Emergency Information Form" in the search box. 

Prepare now for the unexpected using the Emergency Plan Checklist.You can find other tools on this topic on the ECELS website by putting the term "emergency preparedness" into the search box on the ECELS website.  Updated 9/2018

ECELS recognizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Multi-hazard Planning for Child Care course as a quality learning experience for emergency planning. It has many worksheets and suggestions from experts that help child care providers make effective plans.

Section 13 of Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition includes polices that early educators can use to write "best practice" emergency plans. The Appendixes of Model Child Care Health Policies include some documents that every program should have on hand: Appendix I, Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Appendix CC. Incident Report Form, Appendix DD. Child Care Initial Rapid Damage Assessment, Appendix EE. Sample Letter of Agreement with Emergency Evacuation Site, Appendix FF. Sample Letter to Parents About Evacuation Arrangements, Appendix GG. Evacuation Drill Long.  If you prefer to purchase the hard copy of Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition, it is available from the bookstore of the American Academy of Pediatrics order it online or call 888-227-1770.

For state-authorized training credit: Download the Emergency Plan Checklist that follows this description of the self-learning module. Identify the places where your emergency plan needs to be improved. Scan and e-mail or fax the following three documents to ECELS for 2 hours of state-authorized professional development credit that ECELS to review and approve:

  1. Your certificate of successful completion of the FEMA course
  2. A copy of your facility's updated Emergency Plan
  3. A copy of your completed Emergency Plan Checklist showing your plans for improvement. ECELS T/TA staff will review your work and, if needed, give you feedback you can use to further improve your plan

Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage to submit your work for review by ECELS. (K7-C3-84). Instructions updated 6/2017.

Child Care Aware® has a website with updated tools and information about preparing and handling crisis and diisaster. Their resources inlcude tools to support children and families as they cope with any tragedy as well asl resources to help restore disrupted child care services. Got to the website pages on this topic to access this excellent information. The attached document was prepared by Linda Harwenko at the U.S. Department of Defense, as a handout for an ECELS audio conference. It clearly details how early education and before and after school child care programs should prepare emergency action plans for their center - including helpful forms to use for emergency planning and managing events during an emergency. It describes team building, identification of temporary site locations, budget, supplies, evacuation considerations, and parent communication. Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2018.

 

PEMA has planning guidelines specific to child care found by clicking here, and then putting "child care" in the PEMA website search box. This site has the Child Care Emergency Planning Guide, a set of supporting forms and checklists as well as a fill-in-the-blank basic emergency plan. Other good information is available at www.readypa.org.  Reviewed and reaffirmed 4/2018.

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