• Napping in Child Care Facilities
  • Indoor Air Pollution
  • Obese Preschoolers
  • Fluoride Varnish
  • Isolating Ill Children?
  • Seasonal and H1N1 Influenza Update
  • Spring 2009 Professional Development for Child Care Health Consultants
  • Honoring CCHC Janice Maker
  • Free Kit—Activities, Games & More: Go Out and Play!
  • Influenza Vaccine for 2015-2016
  • Screen Time, Child Development and Nutrition
  • Organic Food – Is It Healthier?
  • Background Music and Noise Interferes with Language Learning?
  • Oral Health Screening Added to Routine Well-Child Visit Schedule
  • National Center on Health—Materials All Early Educators Can Use
  • Increasing Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs
  • Three Newly Revised and a List of All ECELS Self-Learning Modules
  • Eating Together - Mealtime Matters

View free, online demonstrations of step-by-step, easy ways to prepare foods for children's meals and snacks. Culinary Institute chefs show the proper techniques in 16 print and 51 brief video lessons. The foods are from the United States Department of Agriculture's collection of recipes for schools. The National Food Service Management Institute at the University of Mississippi hosts the website with this excellent professional development resource.

In addition to the videos and print lessons, the website offers six online courses that allow users to earn continuing education credits. The print and video lessons, online courses and USDA recipes are at http://nfsmi.org/Templates/TemplateDefault.aspx?qs=cElEPTIxNg.

This fact sheet provides general information for parents and caregivers about hand hygiene, it's importance in preventing the spread of infectious disease in early education and care programs, and the procedures to follow for hand washing and for use of hand sanitizers. Updated 11/2012

Brochure that describes the role of a sanitarian or food safety consultant for early education and child care programs. Reviewed and reaffirmed 11/2012

When children are in a hot environment, they can get heat-related illness. The most common problem is dehydration.

Young children have more body surface area per pound of body weight than older children and adults. They get hot more easily and lose water faster by sweating than older children and adults.

Overheating may make people very thirsty. Other signs of heat-related illness include feeling very tired, headaches, stomachaches, fever and breathing faster than usual.

Children can die when left in a vehicle. When the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the inside of a vehicle will reach nearly 110 degrees in 20 minutes. It will be hotter than 120 degrees in 60 minutes. These temperatures can kill children.

Make sure that vehicle cooling systems work well. Check every seat in the vehicle before leaving it. Be sure that no child is left behind.

Arrange for a Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) professional to check your system. Have this service annually, preferably before the hot summer months. A tune-up of the HVAC system can save money and make everyone more comfortable. Schedule another check of the system in the late fall, before the heating season.

Children are more at risk than adults to the effects of lead because their brains are still growing. Lead exposure can cause problems with the brain. This may lead to learning difficulties and behavior problems. There is no safe level of lead exposure for children. Sources of lead can include old paint, contaminated dust and soil, and water in lead pipes. The most important step is to prevent lead exposure before it occurs.
Children are especially at risk of lead exposure if they:
• live in the inner city or in poverty
• live in a home built before 1978
• have poor nutrition

Early care and education programs can help prevent and reduce lead exposure in the following ways:

Lead damages brain and other body tissues. Even low levels of exposure can irreversibly reduce a child’s ability to learn. Lead can cause challenging behaviors too. Chips and dust from old lead-based paint is the main source for childhood lead poisoning. Just a little wear and tear inside or outside an old building can loosen lead paint dust or chips.  Lead can be in room dust and in soil around buildings. The hand-to-mouth activities of young children make them very vulnerable.

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.