This workshop discusses how to reduce the risk of head injuries during active play and the importance of active supervision. This session highlights the benefits of using active play checklists and injury logs. Early learning practitioners will learn about accommodating a child in group care who has sustained a brain injury.(ECERS-ITERS: Space and Furnishings, Interaction, Activities. K7C2-84; 2 hours credit. Meets STAR Level 2 Performance Standard for Health and Safety) 6/18/2013

This media-rich, online module discusses how to reduce the risk of head injuries, how to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of a head injury, and what may be involved to accommodate a child in group care who has sustained a brain injury. To view the module online, you will need a broadband Internet connection (cable, DSL or FIOS).  To open the interactive module, click Head Bumps here.  It may take several minutes to load before playing.  Pennsylvania early learning practitioners who do not have a broadband connection or have difficulty using the module with their Internet connection may contact ECELS to request the CD version. To use the CD version of the module, you will need to have recent updates of the Adobe Reader (version 9.1 or better) and Adobe Flash Player (version 10.1 or better). You can download updates of this software from Adobe for free at To use the CD, copy the file named headbumpsmatter.pdf from the disc you receive from ECELS onto the hard drive of your computer. The module will not play correctly from the disc. You will need to use the Document Packet whether you use the module online or view it as a PDF that you download from the disc to your computer. Download the Document Packet below this description. It is also on the CD version. PA child care practitioners may submit completed work for review for credit by completing an electronic response form via a link in the module,  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. Instructions updated 7/19/2013. (ECERS-ITERS: Personal Care Routines. K7-C2-84.) 6/2017

This form guides collaborative problem-solving involving those who are affected, those with authority, and those with expertise. The form encourages documentation of who is involved, the tasks planned, who is responsible, and checkpoints for follow-up. The attachments include a blank copy of the form and a sample of the completed form to address the problem of a 2 year old child who is biting other children.

This checklist is a quality improvement tool for home-based child care programs. Sharing the checklist results with families of children in child care is likely to help them appreciate what their child’s caregiver is doing to keep their children safe. They may want to use the checklist to see how to make their homes safer for their children. They may offer to help make the improvements the home-based child care facility needs. Reaffirmed 5-2019.

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.

When children are in a hot environment, they can get heat-related illness. The most common problem is dehydration.

Young children have more body surface area per pound of body weight than older children and adults. They get hot more easily and lose water faster by sweating than older children and adults.

Overheating may make people very thirsty. Other signs of heat-related illness include feeling very tired, headaches, stomachaches, fever and breathing faster than usual.

Children can die when left in a vehicle. When the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the inside of a vehicle will reach nearly 110 degrees in 20 minutes. It will be hotter than 120 degrees in 60 minutes. These temperatures can kill children.

Make sure that vehicle cooling systems work well. Check every seat in the vehicle before leaving it. Be sure that no child is left behind.

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,, and of the updated, HTML version of Caring for Our Children, say what should be done. Many early childhood programs must change some common practices.

Steps to prevent injury in child care facilities. The approach is useful for all types of facilities, but will be especially helpful to providers who want to meet the PA STARS standards.In this article, you will find active links to checklists that staff, parents and older children can use to hunt for and correct hazards and risky practices. 8-2018 Reviewed and reaffirmed  5-2019

This module provides updated information about injury prevention at child care/school and at home. It addresses the following Core Knowledge Competencies:

  • K7.1 C1 Identify the sources of health, safety and nutrition standards and regulations that apply to early childhood or school-age programs
  • K7.7 C3 Assess child supervision practices and make changes as needed and required to protect children and minimize risk.
  • K7.8 C2 Use knowledge of health and safety standards and practices to reduce hazards in the program’s indoor and outdoor environments
  • K7.9 C1 Define the elements of an emergency preparedness plan and emergency drills.

Download the two PDF files. The document packet contains the instructions and the primary content for the module. The second contains handouts to share with families from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Use these handouts to engage families in preventing injury to their children. 6/2017