Managing peanut allergy is challenging for child care providers and families who use child care. Peanut butter and products that contain peanuts are among the easiest and most tasty lunch and snack foods. Peanut allergy only occurs in 1-4% of the population. However, reactions to peanuts can be severe.

In 2013, a Princeton researcher, Miranda Waggoner studied the emergence of what some have called an “epidemic” of peanut allergy. She found that the publicity about peanut allergy has overstated the risk significantly.

The PA (Pennsylvania) Immunization Card is an English/Spanish wallet-sized personal immunization record for children and adults. It is available in quantity at no cost for distribution in Pennsylvania to help families keep track of vaccines they have received.  To order the PA Immunization Card, select "Available Materials to Order" in the left pane and complete the form. The Pennsylvania Immunization Card comes in packs of 50. If you want more than one pack of 50, say how many packs you want sent to you in the comment section of the form.

Teach how to manage aggressive behavior with "Play Nicely." Pediatrician Dr. Seth Scholer developed this 40 minute free instructional multi-media program. It is available at www.playnicely.org. Research done at the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University shows the instructional video lessens physical punishment. Many studies show physical punishment of young children is harmful. It fosters aggression, later mental health problems such as depression and an increased incidence of spouse and child abuse as physically punished children grow into adults.

State regulations require documentation that the child has received vaccines and screening tests according to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Any document (including an electronic printout from the child's medical record) that provides this information is acceptable. The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) offers a form that allows health care providers to say whether the child is up to date, the CD 51. This Child Health Report form was last revised in 2008. It does not require the dates and results of the recommended screening tests. It has a check box to indicate "yes" or "no" that the child has received all the recommended screenings. The only screening information it requests is the results of any abnormal vision, hearing or lead screening. These are important, but not all the screenings that assess whether a child is healthy and ready to learn. 

This brief from Docs for Tots reviews the evidence of the cost-benefits of integrating health promotion with early learning in early care and education programs.

RWJ is a national foundation focuses on health policy, prevention, leadership development and research. Recent work has focused on preventing obesity, ensuring health insurance coverage, and quality of health care. 12/2012

Children who eat more salty foods also drink more sweetened beverages. Children who drink more than one sugar-containing beverage per day are 26% more likely to be overweight or obese. These findings are from a study that enrolled over 4,200 Australian children. The study findings are in the January 2013 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Screening young children’s development and behavior should be routine. Screening identifies children who need further evaluation to see if they have a problem. With early identification, children can receive services when they benefit the most from them.

In a June 2011 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended obesity control measures for children in 5 areas:
1. Growth Monitoring
2. Physical Activity
3. Healthy Eating
4. Limiting Screen Time and Marketing Exposure for Children
5. Sufficient Sleep.

ECELS-Healthy Child Care PA has prepared a Care Plan form to gather key information to provide care for children with special health needs.The majority of early learning practitioners enroll children with special health needs. The most common chronic medical conditions among children are allergy and asthma. Practitioners need to know the specific details about each enrolled child with a medical or other special condition. The form collects the essential information. It includes how to care for a child's daily needs and to handle an emergency. Early learning practitioners should arrange for parents and health professionals to complete the form when the child is first considered for enrollment and anytime a new medical condition develops. Download the Care Plan form and an explanation of each item on the form. Reviewed and updated 6/2013