Drinking water should be available indoors and outdoors all day. Milk is a fluid food. Milk should be served at meals or snacks where it is planned as part of the recommended intake for the child. Having ready access to drinking water is especially important on hot days except for infants. Infants who receive human milk or formula should receive extra human milk or formula, not water. Children should learn to drink water from a cup or, without mouthing the fixture, drink from a fountain as they can master these skills. Offer water as often as once an hour. No child should be allowed to have water by sucking continuously on a bottle or Sippy cup as it may interfere with proper nutrition. It is best to have children brush their teeth after at least one feeding. When children who have teeth eat and do not brush their teeth afterward, they should have a drink of water to rinse the food from their teeth. Updated 6/2013.

A collection of some of the ECELS Fact Sheets. Fact Sheets are succinct information sheets for early education/child care staff on certain medical conditions, special needs, and an overview of infectious diseases.  For newly updated fact sheets on specific infectious diseases, see Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, a Quick Reference Guide. For newly updated fact sheets on specific types of special needs, see Managing Chronic Health Needs in Child Care and Schools (2010). Both books are available for purchase from the American Academy of Pediatrics. ECELS has many other Fact Sheets. To view all of them, click on Publications (section heading) then select the Fact Sheet subsection. Note - the file is large. Please be patient and wait for file to load in Adobe Reader. Updated 11/2012

  • Promoting Social-Emotional Health 
  • Developmental Screening 
  • Playground Safety: Professional Development and CPSI Inspections 
  • Protective Play Surfacing Regulation 
  • Child Care Health Advocates Share Great Ideas 
  • Use Car Seats Only for Vehicular Travel 
  • Peanut Allergy and Cleaning 
  • Food Allergy Action Plan and Form 
  • Medication Administration: PA Child Care Facility Survey
  • Bottles, Pacifiers and Sippy Cups Cause Many Injuries 
  • 2012-2013 Flu Vaccine Recommendations 
  • Violence: How to reduce its impact on children 
  • Let’s Move! Child Care Activity Calendar 
  • Asthma Devices 
  • Insect Bites and Stings in the Fall 
  • Special Care Plans—Braedon’s Story 
  • ADHD Treatment for Preschoolers 
  • Emergency Preparedness Manual
  • 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

Home-based child care providers 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 child care practitioners should download and follow the instructions using the materials for the module in the file below this description.

This fact sheet offers general information for parents/legal guardians and caregivers about managing a child with a fever. Updated 11/2012

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.