Choking is a common cause of Emergency Room visits for young children. Nearly two thirds of choking episodes are associated with foods. Choking on food causes the death of approximately one child in the United States every 5 days. Hot dogs account for 17% of choking episodes related to food. Hard candy, peanuts, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter marshmallows, chewing gum and sausages cause choking too. Of non-food causes of choking, latex balloons are leading trouble-makers. In addition to balloons, small, round or cylindrical toys can block small air tubes.

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 6/2013.

Choking is a leading cause of injury among children. It can be fatal, especially in children 4 years of age or younger. Food and objects worn around the neck are common causes of choking. Young children should not wear any necklace-like objects that encircle their necks. Watch out for pacifier ribbons, teething ring necklaces, jewelry and clothing with tie strings.

Learn reasons and rationale for arranging for the services of a Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC). Explain the role of the CCHC and identify resources for help in locating a CCHC. View video segments accessible online. If you are unable to view the segments online, you can request a DVD that includes them by contacting ECELS.

A current poster with guidelines for CPR, including choking and first aid for other emergency conditions is aviailable 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 AA's "3-in-1 First Aid/Choking/CPR"poster/chart 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/chart.  Reviewed and updated 6/2013.

 In the United States, every day, about 10 people die from drowning. About one in five are children 14 years of age and younger. Five times more children survive near drowning. Children 1-4 years of age have the highest drowning rates. Drowning is second only to motor vehicle passenger and pedestrian accidents as the highest causes of unintentional injury-related death.

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.

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. 

ECELS staff prepared  an Emergency Plan Checklist that suggests items that would otherwise be overlooked. 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 11/2013.