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. The recommendations were published as an article in the March 2006 issue of Health Link Online. 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. Updated 3/2/06. Reviewed and reaffirmed 11/2012.

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. The module meets PA keystone STAR 2 Performance Standard requirement for two (2) hours of annual professional development for health and safety. Updated 12/2014

Involving children with laundry tasks offers opportunities for interactive conversation and practice of some motor skills.  If you bring children into laundry areas, you’ll need to protect them from  hazards commonly found there.  Prevent child access to laundry detergents and other toxic products. Laundry machines can cause injury if children climb into them or hang on doors.

Lead damages brain and other body tissues. Even low levels of exposure can irreversibly reduce a child’s ability to learn. Lead can cause challenging behaviors too. Chips and dust from old lead-based paint is the main source for childhood lead poisoning. Just a little wear and tear inside or outside an old building can loosen lead paint dust or chips.  Lead can be in room dust and in soil around buildings. The hand-to-mouth activities of young children make them very vulnerable.

  • Steps for Child Care Facilities To Prevent Injury
  • Use links to checklists that will help staff, parents and older children hunt down and correct hazards both indoors and on playgrounds


This workshop draws on the curriculum published  by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010 to teach how to manage the risks involved in giving medication in group care settings using the 5 Rights: the right child receives the right medication in the right dose, by the right method at the right time.  Participants practice skills and discuss scenarios to identify gaps in practice.  Key elements that should be in documentation of medication, policies and procedures are reviewed. Demonstrations and discussions include tips for giving a variety of different types of medication: liquids and pills, eye, ear, nose, topical medications such as diaper cream and sunscreen, inhalers and emergency medicines.

Many children's medicines come in liquid form. Household spoons may be handy for giving children liquid medicines, but using them is not a good way to give the correct dose. Parents and educators should use a syringe, special medicine cup, special dosing spoon or dropper. These devices are marked in milliliters (mL).

Different household teaspoons hold different amounts of liquids. Tablespoons vary in size too. A spoon that gives too little medicine may keep the medicine from working. If a spoon gives too much medicine, the overdose may cause a serious problem. For example, repeatedly giving a child too much acetaminophen (Tylenol)can lead to liver failure. More than 70,000 children go to emergency rooms each year for accidental medicine overdoses. Use of the wrong measuring device causes some of these. Many liquid medicines come with a special dose measuring device calibrated to accurately measure the particular medication. Be sure to use it. If there is no device with the medication, a pharmacist can provide one. If a syringe is used, squirt the medication slowly and gently between the child's tongue and the side of the mouth. This makes it easier for the child to swallow the medicine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents, physicians and pharmacists to use only metric measurements for oral liquid medications. Metric measurements for liquids in milliliters (ml) or cubic centimeters (cc) should be on prescriptions, medication labels, and dosing devices. This helps children get the correct dose of medication. Do not measure liquid medication in teaspoons or tablespoons.

Please share this information with teachers/caregivers and families. Download and display the new poster in English and in Spanish. Copy and distribute the updated article - also available in both English and Spanish. To access the article in in Spanish, click on "en Espanol" on the page. On the same page, you can listen to the article read to you in English or Spanish.

Families and early childhood educators need to understand how much medicine to give. They should know how often and how long to give it. If they are uncertain about the instructions, they should not give the medication until they have asked the child's health care provider about how to do it. Use the forms in the Medication Administration Packet, Appendix X in Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition. This publication is available at

Health professionals recommend keeping medicine out of children's reach. Use child safety caps, understanding that these are not "child-proof". They make it harder for the child to open the medicine, giving adults more time to stop the child from getting the medicine. Check labels carefully before giving two medicines together because they may have the same ingredient. Do not mix medicine with food unless the instructions on the medicine say to do so. Also, urge families to bring a list of all medicines the child is taking each time the child sees a health professional.

For medicine mistakes, call the Poison Help number at 800-222-1222. If the child is unconscious, not breathing or having seizures, call 911 first. Be careful when getting rid of unused medicines. In some places, you can drop off medicines at a police department. Make sure to remove labels with personal details. Another way to safely dispose of medicines is to mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter in a plastic bag you can seal. Throw this sealed bag away in a trash container where children and animals can't get to it. Don't dump the medicine in the toilet or drain, unless the medicine label says it is safe to do it. If you aren't sure how to dispose of a medicine, ask a pharmacist about what to do.

Contributed by Nancy Alleman, ECELS Lead Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator, in collaboration with Ian M. Paul, M.D., M.Sc., FAAP, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs.

The PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics published the 5th edition of Model Child Care Health Policies in October 2013. Significantly revised and updated, the new edition is a practical tool for adoption and implementation of best practices for health and safety in group care settings for young children. This edition replaces the previously published version and updates of individual policies that were posted on the ECELS website. ECELS encourages early education and child care professionals to adapt the model policies as site-specific documents that fit their programs. Two formats are available: one replicates the hard copy publication. The other format, posted 12-12-2014, has form fields that allow users to insert their site-specific details directly into the PDF document.

Using the new, 5th Edition of Model Child Care Health Policies, develop customized health and safety policies for your center or home-based program. Complete self-assessment questions and review selected policies.  Submit one policy of your choice to ECELS for review. 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. K7-C3-76 or K8-C3-92. Meets STAR 2 Performance Standard for Health and Safety.  Instructions updated 1/15/14.

This document has been integrated into Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition. Use this link to access the PDF on the ECELS website. The hard copy, printed version is available from the PA AAP Bookstore. 10/2013