In 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated the schedule of services children should receive during well-child visits.* The new schedule includes oral health screening and that all children between 6 months and 5 years of age have their teeth painted with fluoride varnish** 2-4 times a year to prevent tooth decay.

Learn more about how to make the most of well child visits. Go to the 8/2015 article* on the AAP’s website. This website is for parents and other caregivers. Articles are available in English or Spanish, in both written and oral format.

Photo and article content with permission of the American Academy of Pediatrics.oral health pg 4

Oral health and public health experts have updated the recommendations to prevent cavities (dental caries) for children less than 5 years of age. What’s new is a strong recommendation for the child’s pediatrician or dentist to apply fluoride varnish every 3 to 6 months, starting as soon as possible. Painting the teeth with fluoride varnish is easy. Good research shows that fluoride varnish reduces caries by as much as 59%. Painting fluoride varnish on the teeth protects the outside layer of tooth enamel for “baby teeth.” Baby teeth start forming before birth. Most finish developing during the first year of life. The formed teeth start to come up during the first year, and finish coming up by the time the child is three years old.

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 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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Brushing children’s teeth during the day is a great way to promote health. It may also reduce the risk of tooth decay for young children. Bacteria can grow on toothbrushes that have been in someone’s mouth. They grow especially well on wet toothbrushes that are kept in closed, dark places. Follow these steps to make sure toothbrushes stay clean. Wet toothbrush bristles should not be covered. They should air dry.

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.