Low income children enrolled more than 30 years ago in a high quality early care and education program grew up to be healthier and better-achieving as adults. The Abecedarian Project reported long-term follow-up of children who were randomly selected to attend the Frank Porter Graham child care center from when they were infants to 5 years of age. The staff checked to be sure the children received recommended preventive health services. They provided good nutrition. They educated children, teachers and families about good health behaviors.
This online professional development opportunity is for directors and administrative staff in centers that serve 25 or more children and who are new users (subscribers) using the WellCareTrackerTM Internet application software, available from ECELS. The professional development experience involves working with the user-friendly internet application on any computer connected to the Internet to review children's health records, identify and track gaps in the children's required preventive health services. WellCareTrackerTM software uses the dates of preventive health care services entered for each child at any time thereafter to report whether the child is currently up to date, overdue or will be due in the next three months for specific services. In addition to reports for individual children that can be given to parents, the system produces a report for all the children entered. This report makes it easy to track needed services and follow-up with families. Currently, the PA Department of Health is doing random audits of the immunization records that state regulations require child care programs keep on file to show children are up to date. The health reports should give information about screening tests and special needs too. WellCareTrackerTM lets staff make sure children have received all the services that they need to be healthy and ready to learn. In addition to being protected against vaccine preventable infectious disease, they need to be free of treatable conditions such as hearing and vision problems, anemia or lead poisoning. Look for the detailed description of the self-learning module on the left pane of the WellCareTracker(TM) home page at www.wellcaretracker.org under "ECELS - Self Learning Module." PA child care practitioners may 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. Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage. (ECERS-ITERS: Personal Care Routines, Program Structure. K7-C3-78 or K8-C3-91. 6/2017
Children die in hot vehicles every year. Thirty or more children die annually from heat stroke after being left unattended in vehicles.On sunny days the interior of vehicles heats up rapidly and gets very hot. This happens even on relatively mild or cool sunny days. On days when the outdoor temperature is just 72°F, the internal vehicle temperature can reach 117°F in an hour. Most of the temperature rise (80%) occurs in the first 30 minutes. On days when outdoor temperatures exceed 86°F, the temperature in a vehicle can quickly reach 134 to 154°F. Opening windows a small amount does not effectively decrease either the rate of heat rise or the maximum temperature reached. In fact, sunlight coming through open car windows makes the car work like an oven.
Steps for child care facilities to prevent illness. This approach is for all facilities, but will be especially helpful to those who want to meet the Pennsylvania standards for STARS.
Learn how to check immunization records for children in your care. View online videos and learn about vaccines on the website of the Vaccine Education Center of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The instructions include a link to the website of the National Immunization Program of the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) and CDC's FREE handy software tools to check vaccine records for individual children in your care and adults who care for the children. Pennsylvania child care practitioners may earn professional development credit by submitting your answers to questions about what you learned with your evaluation of vaccine records for at least 5 children in your care. Follow the instructions in the "Important Reminders" box beside the list of self-learning modules for ECELS to review your work to award professional development credit. (ECERS-ITERS: Program Structure. K7-C2-78. 6/2017
As you prepare for fall enrollment, now is a good time for early care and education programs to make sure all staff are up-to-date with recommended immunizations. Getting vaccinated is an important part of staying healthy. Routine immunization of adults is the best way to protect yourself against vaccine-preventable diseases. Several of the vaccines routinely recommended for adults will prevent diseases that can be spread to children in the child care setting, including pertussis(whooping cough), varicella(chicken pox), measles, mumps, rubella and influenza.
Start your influenza vaccine efforts now too! All children 6 months of age and older and staff should get influenza vaccine.
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.
Follow the American Academy of Pediatrics policy about preventing sleep related deaths in group care settings. Standards 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, and 126.96.36.199 of the updated, HTML version of Caring for Our Children, say what should be done. Many early childhood programs must change some common practices.
Outbreaks of influenza can be stopped by requiring that most child care workers and children who are over 6 months of age get flu vaccine. The CDC reported low influenza vaccination rates among child care workers in a national sample. The most common reasons for not getting the vaccine were mistaken ideas. The respondents didn't understand that they needed to get the vaccine, that the vaccine does prevent or reduce the severity of the flu, and that the vaccine is safe. Those who got the vaccine had the facts and felt some external pressure to receive the vaccine. Strong promotion of flu vaccine is associated with significantly decreased rates of emergency department visits for flu-like symptoms.
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: