Swaddling (wrapping tightly) in a blanket calms many young babies. However, improper use of this practice increases risk of harm. If the blanket is too loose, it can move up to cover the infant’s face. Loose blankets around the infant’s head are a risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.) Swaddling may cause overheating, another SIDS risk factor. If the blanket wraps the legs so they are not free to move, researchers find the baby is more likely to develop hip disease. 

Early educators have a vital role in the lives of children. What teachers/caregivers do can directly impact each child’s health and wellbeing. Teachers need the knowledge, skills and tools to meet this awesome responsibility! ECELS recently revised three self-learning modules so they are now updated and easy-to-use in online or print formats:

Each module meets STAR Level 2 Performance Standards for Health and Safety and provides 2 hours of professional development credit. See the brief overview of each module below, click on the active link above or go to the ECELS website at www.ecels-healthychildcarepa.org Select the Professional Development/Training tab at the top of the page, then Self-Learning Modules. Find the one you want to use in the alphabetical listing of the more than 30 Self-Learning Modules that ECELS offers.

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Do you or the families you serve transport children?  ECELS has a Self-Learning Module "Transporting Children Safely: Are We There Yet?" This online module includes information, videos and a model policy.   Learn about new national recommendations for safe use of child passenger safety seats.  Review new performance standards for transporting children safely in early education programs. Share this information with parents who transport their children in vehicles other than a public bus. The model policy is consistent with Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards, 3rd edition, published in 2011.

This module includes new online video and downloadable documents highlighting the 2011 recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the use of child passenger safety seats to transport children.  It includes the new performance standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards for Early Care and Education Programs, third edition, for the development of a transportation and field trip policy. Learn about car seats, seat belts, planning field trips, preparing for emergencies, transporting children with special needs, developing a transportation policy and educating staff, parents, and children about transportation safety. Contact ECELS if you cannot use the module online to request a hard copy (at the cost of printing and mailing). 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. Instructions updated 7/19/2013. (ECERS-ITERS: Personal Care Routines. K7-C2-76.)

Many young children ride tricycles. Between January 2012 and January 2014, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission collected data that showed an estimated 9340 trike riders were injured seriously enough to come to a hospital’s Emergency Department. Fifty-two percent of these injured children were between 1 and 2 years of age.

The number of children with tricycle injuries peaked at 2 years of age. Somewhat fewer children who were 3 years of age were injured. For 4 year olds, the number dropped to slightly more than half the number for 3 year olds. Thereafter, the numbers of children with trike injuries declined sharply. Most of the injured children were treated and released from the Emergency Department. 

Lacerations (cuts) were the most frequent type of injury. The face was cut more often than other body parts. Internal organ damage was a common injury for 3 year olds and 5 year olds. The brain was the most commonly injured internal organ. Note in the photo the children need to wear helmets. For 7-year-old children, 70% of the injuries were bruises of the face and head. Elbows were the most commonly broken bone.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is a government organization. It is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from consumer products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. This website has a wide range of reliable safety information. You can search for a topic or browse many interesting articles. On the home page, select “What’s Popular” to find excellent materials for early educators and families with children. For example “Childproofing Your Home” is a printable brochure that lists 12 safety devices to install to protect children. 12/2012

Many studies show the harmful effects of exposing children to violence in television shows, computer games, music and movies. Violence in media promotes aggressive behavior, nightmares and fear of being harmed. Most of it minimizes the consequences of violent actions. The review of evidence by experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics confirms that “…media violence is one of the causes of real-life violence and aggression.” Pediatrics 2009;124;1495

Water play offers wonderful developmental learning opportunities.  However, early educators must control the risks of drowning and spread of infection from contaminated water. It takes less than 30 seconds for a young child to begin to drown. More than 250 children less than 5 years of age drown each year. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that most children age 4 and older should learn to swim. Children between 1 and 4 years of age may benefit from formal swimming lessons. However, nobody should rely on a child’s swimming skills to become less vigilant about supervising a child in the water.  To learn more about how to reduce the risk of drowning, go to the websites of the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov and the AAP at www.aap.org. Search for “drowning” on both sites. Preventing bad germs from spreading through contact with water requires vigilance too. Early learning practitioners must pay attention to controlling both of these risks. 

ECELS offers many live and recorded webinars available to use for PA Key and Act 48 credit. The recordings are on the ECELS website a week or so after the live webinar. “Managing Challenging Behaviors” was the first ECELS webinar for 2016. It was presented live on 1/14/2016.

  • New Vaccine (Pneumococcal Vaccine)
  • PA Safe Child Care Project and First Aid Training
  • Children’s Health Insurance
  • Health Assessments
  • Risk Watch®
  • Health & Safety Workshop Training Request Form