Home-based child care staff can use this module to inspect their homes for hazards. The module uses a checklist derived from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards and FCCERS-R criteria. For professional development credit, PA early care and education staff should download and follow the instructions using the materials for the module in the file below this description. Complete and submit plans for improvement for any hazards found. Submit completed work for review for credit by scanning the pages and attaching them to an e-mail, sending them by fax or by surface mail to ECELS. The module may also be complete online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V9MPNMG
Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage. Instructions updated 3/2017.(FCCERS-R, K7.1 C1, K7.7 C1, K7.8 C1, K7.8 C2) Revised 3/2017.
PA regulations require that children have vaccines recommended by the ACIP.* The ACIP is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The ACIP recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age receive influenza vaccine.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that child care programs prevent influenza with annual immunization for everyone older than 6 months of age, especially all teachers/caregivers.** ECELS urges programs to adopt policies and practices that require influenza immunization, hand hygiene, cough/sneeze etiquette, and minimizing crowding.
Early educators and families need to follow new oral health recommendations related to use of fluoride for children. Experts no longer recommend that children take fluoride tablets and liquid supplements. Instead, children should brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride-containing toothpaste. The amount of toothpaste should be appropriate for the child's age. Infants use a smear or rice grain amount of toothpaste. Children 2-5 years of age use a pea-sized amount. From then on, a small ribbon is appropriate. By 12 months of age, or 6 months after the first tooth appears, children should visit a pediatric or child-friendly dentist. Thereafter, children should visit a dentist every 6 months. The dentist may apply fluoride varnish to their teeth at periodic visits. Medicaid and some private health insurance will pay for these preventive dental services. The child's pediatrician may be able to temporarily provide these services to healthy children up to age 5 if dental services are not available in the community. Updated 6/2013
Many children and adults have asthma. Up to 90% of children with asthma have allergies also. Wheezing, irritation of eyes and noses may be an allergic response to substances like pollens, animal dander, or dust mites. Nearly a quarter of children with asthma have food allergies too. Early education and child care providers must be prepared to respond to a situation that involves a severe allergic reaction. Without prompt administration of an appropriate medication, someone with an allergic reaction may die.
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.
Food-borne illness is very common. The risk of this type of illness increases in warm weather. Sending food from home and eating out-of-doors may allow perishable food to reach temperatures that foster bacterial growth. A 2011 study reported in the journal, Pediatrics measured temperatures of lunches that families packed and sent with their preschool children. The researchers found only 1.6% of lunches with perishable items were at safe temperature. The study was done in nine Texas child care centers and measured temperatures in the packed lunches of more than 700 preschoolers. Even when sent with ice packs, most of the lunches were at unsafe temperatures over an hour before the food was ready to be served. The message is clear: Early educators and families must adopt practices that ensure food is at a safe temperature before feeding it to children.
In January 2007, ECELS/Healthy Child Care PA outlined the key gaps and necessary steps that ECELS recommends to improve the quality of early education and child care in Pennsylvania. This fact sheet provides data and talking points to guide policy-makers and other stakeholders seeking quality child care. Reviewed and reaffirmed 11/2012.