This website was launched by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the public and for professionals. It presents trustworthy, evidence-based (scientifically evaluated) information about vaccine-preventable diseases and their vaccines. The vaccineinformation.org website is organized by age group — Infants / Children, Preteens, Teens, and Adults. The website offers timely, accurate, and proven information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent. It features hundreds of valuable resources, accessed by easy key word searches. The website has about 100 vaccine-related videos. Also, it has public service announcements, educational materials and personal stories about suffering and death when people go without being immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. 2/28/2013

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. 

Special practices are needed to protect early education and school-age providers from contact with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids. Use this online module to learn how to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop an exposure control plan, how to care for a human bite, prevent injuries from sharps, and the procedure for post-exposure treatment. This module includes OSHA's Bloodborne Exposure Control Plan you can use by filling in the blanks. PA child care staff 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.  
6/2017

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.

Pennsylvania regulations already require that children receive vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. All children over 6 months of age should receive flu vaccine. New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut are requiring that teachers/caregivers have influenza vaccinations too. Flu vaccine reduces the risk of severe flu for them, the children in their care and family members. Contact in child care is a well-known factor in the spread of influenza in the community. While the current flu vaccine is not perfect, it will reduce the risk. The flu season peaks in January-March. It’s not too late to get some protection from flu vaccine.

This CDC "flu" website is a good home base for information about influenze. It has handouts, clear explanations about the risks and protections. Reviewed and reaffirmed 3/2018.

The influenza (flu) virus is common and unpredictable. It can cause serious complications – even in healthy children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 136 influenza-related pediatric deaths for 2018-2019. The 2018–2019 influenza season was the longest-lasting season reported in the United States in the past ten years. Certain people are more at risk for serious flu-related complications. These include:
• Children younger than 5 years of age, especially those younger than 2 years
• Preterm infants
• Children of any age with certain long-term health problems, for example, asthma or other lung disorders, heart disease, or a neurologic or neurodevelopmental disorder
• Pregnant women
• Older adults age 65 years and older: Immune systems decline as adults age.

The influenza vaccine is on the recommended Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) schedule and is mandatory for children 6 months of age and older in child care. Children enrolled in a before or after-school program at a licensed child care facility are required by the PA Department of Human Services / Office of Child Development and Early Learning (DHS/OCDEL) to follow the ACIP schedule. Child care programs must have documentation on file for each child that flu vaccine was given. DHS permits written exemptions from immunization for religious belief or strong personal objection equated to a religious belief or medical exemption. If flu or other vaccines cannot be given due to severe allergic reaction or other medical exemption, the child must have a written, signed and dated statement from the child’s physician, physician’s assistant or certified registered nurse practitioner on file at the child care program. If a child's appointment for flu vaccine is scheduled, have documentation in the child’s file at the child care program with the date.
The flu vaccine helps reduce serious illness and deaths that occur every year from influenza. For the 2019-20 flu season, the national American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine available can be administered. Flu mist is an approved form of the vaccine for this season. Some children may need two doses of flu vaccine. Get flu vaccine as soon as it is available for the current season.

In August 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement about the management of head lice infestations in typical K – 12 school settings. (Pediatrics 2010;126:392–403) The statement made some news headlines. It said no healthy child should be excluded or miss any time from school for lice.  Also, the policy said “no nit” policies in schools should be abandoned.   The AAP statement only applies to school age children in typical K-12 classrooms, not child care settings. However, the AAP book, Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 4th edition (2017), echos this policy for child care too.

The fourth editon, released in 2016,  of this handy reference about how to prevent and manage infection in group care settings for children can be purchased from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the national organization of pediatricians and other pediatric health professionals.  The fourth edition has been completely reviewed and updated to reflect the latest recommendations from Caring for Our Children and the American Academy of Pediatrics, Red Book:  2015 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases. It includes new Quick Reference Sheets on Norovirus, MRSA, and Clostridium difficile ("C diff"). Revised 11/30/16.