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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The Emergency Management Institute of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a 2 hour online course called Multihazard Planning for Child Care that FEMA posted on March 13, 2012. Successful completion earns 0.2 CEUs. Click here to access the course. Many helpful emergency planning tools, suggested activities and games to teach children about emergency preparedness are at www.ready.gov/kids/   4/2013

FARE is an organization that offers helpful decoding of food labels and strategies for preventing serious reactions for individuals allergic to specific types of foods. Publications include training kits, handouts, lists of hidden ingredients in many foods.

This workshop uses the interactive curriculum from the Food Allergy Network. It includes a video and mock epinephrine (EpiPen) demonstration. Participants practice reading food labels to find hidden ingredients that are the same as common food allergens and learn the basics of food allergy and allergen types in foods. The group discusses how to modify the child care setting for a child with a food allergy, and a plan for handling a food allergy response. 

This workshop enables the user to learn how to assess health and safety practices in programs for infants and toddlers in conjunction with use of the ITERS assessment tool. Discuss feeding, diapering, sleeping, fostering early brain development, managing illness and more. Use the assessment to make improvements in the program. 

This workshop draws on the curriculum published  by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010 to teach how to manage the risks involved in giving medication in group care settings using the 5 Rights: the right child receives the right medication in the right dose, by the right method at the right time.  Participants practice skills and discuss scenarios to identify gaps in practice.  Key elements that should be in documentation of medication, policies and procedures are reviewed. Demonstrations and discussions include tips for giving a variety of different types of medication: liquids and pills, eye, ear, nose, topical medications such as diaper cream and sunscreen, inhalers and emergency medicines.

Many children's medicines come in liquid form. Household spoons may be handy for giving children liquid medicines, but using them is not a good way to give the correct dose. Parents and educators should use a syringe, special medicine cup, special dosing spoon or dropper. These devices are marked in milliliters (mL).

Different household teaspoons hold different amounts of liquids. Tablespoons vary in size too. A spoon that gives too little medicine may keep the medicine from working. If a spoon gives too much medicine, the overdose may cause a serious problem. For example, repeatedly giving a child too much acetaminophen (Tylenol)can lead to liver failure. More than 70,000 children go to emergency rooms each year for accidental medicine overdoses. Use of the wrong measuring device causes some of these. Many liquid medicines come with a special dose measuring device calibrated to accurately measure the particular medication. Be sure to use it. If there is no device with the medication, a pharmacist can provide one. If a syringe is used, squirt the medication slowly and gently between the child's tongue and the side of the mouth. This makes it easier for the child to swallow the medicine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents, physicians and pharmacists to use only metric measurements for oral liquid medications. Metric measurements for liquids in milliliters (ml) or cubic centimeters (cc) should be on prescriptions, medication labels, and dosing devices. This helps children get the correct dose of medication. Do not measure liquid medication in teaspoons or tablespoons.

Please share this information with teachers/caregivers and families. Download and display the new poster in English and in Spanish. Copy and distribute the updated article - also available in both English and Spanish. To access the article in in Spanish, click on "en Espanol" on the page. On the same page, you can listen to the article read to you in English or Spanish.

Families and early childhood educators need to understand how much medicine to give. They should know how often and how long to give it. If they are uncertain about the instructions, they should not give the medication until they have asked the child's health care provider about how to do it. Use the forms in the Medication Administration Packet, Appendix X in Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition. This publication is available at www.ecels-healthychildcarepa.org.

Health professionals recommend keeping medicine out of children's reach. Use child safety caps, understanding that these are not "child-proof". They make it harder for the child to open the medicine, giving adults more time to stop the child from getting the medicine. Check labels carefully before giving two medicines together because they may have the same ingredient. Do not mix medicine with food unless the instructions on the medicine say to do so. Also, urge families to bring a list of all medicines the child is taking each time the child sees a health professional.

For medicine mistakes, call the Poison Help number at 800-222-1222. If the child is unconscious, not breathing or having seizures, call 911 first. Be careful when getting rid of unused medicines. In some places, you can drop off medicines at a police department. Make sure to remove labels with personal details. Another way to safely dispose of medicines is to mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter in a plastic bag you can seal. Throw this sealed bag away in a trash container where children and animals can't get to it. Don't dump the medicine in the toilet or drain, unless the medicine label says it is safe to do it. If you aren't sure how to dispose of a medicine, ask a pharmacist about what to do.

Contributed by Nancy Alleman, ECELS Lead Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, in collaboration with Ian M. Paul, M.D., M.Sc., FAAP, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs.

The PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics published the 5th edition of Model Child Care Health Policies in October 2013. Significantly revised and updated, the new edition is a practical tool for adoption and implementation of best practices for health and safety in group care settings for young children. This edition replaces the previously published version and updates of individual policies that were posted on the ECELS website. ECELS encourages early education and child care professionals to adapt the model policies as site-specific documents that fit their programs. Two formats are available: one replicates the hard copy publication. The other format, posted 12-12-2014, has form fields that allow users to insert their site-specific details directly into the PDF document.

Managing peanut allergy is challenging for child care providers and families who use child care. Peanut butter and products that contain peanuts are among the easiest and most tasty lunch and snack foods. Peanut allergy only occurs in 1-4% of the population. However, reactions to peanuts can be severe.

In 2013, a Princeton researcher, Miranda Waggoner studied the emergence of what some have called an “epidemic” of peanut allergy. She found that the publicity about peanut allergy has overstated the risk significantly.

This interactive first aid instruction workshop uses PedFACTs (Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers) a manual developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Upon successful completion, participants receive a card. The workshop content includes management of common injuries as well as care for life-threatening conditions such as a blocked airway.  Soon there will be both a 4 hour in-person version and an online/ 1.5 to 2 hour in-person hybrid version available. 

This one page fact sheet gives general information about managing poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac in young children for parents and caregivers. Reviewed and reaffirmed 4-2019.