In Know What to Expect at Your Child’s K- 12 School or Child Care Program, 8/4/21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer helpful information to consider and suggest, "To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools - as of July 18, 2021.
The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for school plans should start with the goal of keeping students safe and physically present in school. It is critical to use science and data to guide decisions about the pandemic and school COVID-19 plans. All school COVID-19 policies should consider the following key principles and remember that COVID-19 policies are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, risk. Because school transmission reflects (but does not drive) community transmission, it is vitally important that communities take all necessary measures to limit the community spread of SARS-CoV-2 to ensure schools can remain open and safe for all students.
Review the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)'s suggestions COVID-19 Best Practices for Early Childhood Education (ECE) 9-6-21.
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Bureau of Early Learning Policy and Professional Development and Bureau of Certification has released the Announcement C-21-08: COVID-19 Policy Updates - Subject: Compliance with Acting Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order.
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Bureau of Early Learning Policy and Professional Development and Bureau of Certification has released the Announcement C-21-07: COVID-19 Policy Updates. The purpose of this Announcement is to communicate the release of an Order of the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Directing Face Coverings in School Entities (Order) and expectations for compliance by certified child care facilities as well as provide clarification of ongoing reporting requirements related to COVID-19. The Order applies to all child care providers licensed by the Department of Human Services.
This announcement replaces announcement C-21-04 Best Practices for Child Care Facilities Operating During the Novel Coronavirus in its entirety.
The Acting Secretary of Health’s Order will be effective Sept. 7, 2021. School entities should comply with the Order on or before that date. Effective Sept. 7, 2021, child care certification representatives (reps) conducting inspections or complaint investigations will cite child care facilities operating out of compliance with the Order. The citations for non-compliance with the Order will be issued under 55 Pa. Code §3270.14, 3270.21, §3280.14, 3280.20, and §3290.18, all pertaining to compliance with “pertinent laws and regulations” and “general health and safety.”
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released the Guidance for Tuberculin Skin Testing (TST) and COVID-19 Vaccinations: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which provides information for those within the child care setting relating to TST requirements and COVID-19 vaccinations.
See the Guidance for TST and COVID-19 Vaccinations: FAQs for additional details.
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Bureau of Certification has released the Summer 2021 Newsletter. This printable newsletter contains information about:
• Coronavirus updates
• Meet the Certification Bureau director
• New Regulation changes
• Swimming and lifeguard requirements
• Where's Baby? Look before you lock campaign
• Field trip information
• Exposure to bees and bugs in child care settings
• Plant safety
• Summer child care programs and summer camps
• Safety in the sun
• Summer treats
Child care directors are encouraged to discuss any questions with their certification representative and then share the information with their staff and families.
Archived Bureau of Certification E-News and Newsletters
Don’t miss important information; Sign up for the Certification eNews
Promote healthy nutrition with children, families and staff at your program. Examine the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website. Use their toolkit with individual files such as 20 Health Tips. See Smart Snacking Tips for Kids.
Use the Healthy Kids, Healthy Future resources. Review the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self- Assessment for Child Care (Go NAP SACC). Based on your assessment, develop an action plan to make improvements. Share these nutrition tips for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with families from the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center (ECLKC). Encourage small changes to improve healthy eating and habits.
Do you know someone buying a car seat? Want to know the best one?
The best car seat is the one that fits the child, fits the vehicle, and the caregiver can use it correctly every time. See details in the "Gift Giving Guide for Car Seats." The many products sold as car seat accessories that are non-approved products, which are not recommended by car seat manufacturers, are addressed. Counterfeit car seats are being advertised and sold online and are found on many ecommerce platforms. These car seats do not meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 (FMVSS 213) and are potentially dangerous for children. For more information, read “Counterfeit Car Seats."
The Pennsylvania Key Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program Consultants worked collaboratively to create the social story and tips and resources to support re-entering into Early Education Centers after COVID-19. The social story, We are back in school!, can be used by early childhood education staff as a resource for support social and emotional as children and staff start the process of re-entering the child care setting. Each page in this social story contains Teacher Tips, Prompts, Resources and Activities which can help with discussions with children in child care. There are clickable links and even spots where staff can jot down their own notes! The Tip and Resource Guide provides additional information. 7/8/21
Nebulizers, Asthma and COVID-19
Do you have children in your care with asthma? Parents/caregivers of children with asthma who use nebulizers should contact their child’s health care provider about using a metered dose inhaler (MDI) instead of a nebulizer. Use of inhalers with spacers instead of nebulizers involves decreased close exposure time during the medication administration. According to The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC), people with asthma should use inhalers with spacers (with or without a face mask, according to each student’s personal treatment plan) instead of nebulizer treatments whenever possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children’s medical records/care plans should be reviewed to see who may require nebulizer treatments. Care plans should be updated as per the health care provider’s recommendations. K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs FAQs for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents offers important guidance to consider and precautions to take.
Increased cleaning and disinfecting is necessary because of the pandemic. Disinfecting products maybe a trigger for some children so care should be taken to prevent exposure to them:
If you have asthma:
• Ask an adult without asthma to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects for you.
• Stay in another room when cleaners or disinfectants are being used and right after their use.
• Use only cleaning products you must use. Some surfaces and objects that are seldom touched may need to be cleaned only with soap and water.
• Make a list of the urgent care or health facilities near you that provide nebulizer/asthma treatments. Keep it close to your phone.
• If you have an asthma attack, move away from the trigger such as the disinfectant or the area that was disinfected. Follow your Asthma Action Plan. Call 911 for medical emergencies. 7/8/21
Asthma is one of most common chronic illnesses among children in the United States. Most people know at least one child with asthma. Asthma is different for each child, so it’s important to know each child’s triggers, symptoms, and treatment plan. Changes in the seasons as well as an increase of allergens in our environment can cause an increase in asthma symptoms. Symptoms range from mild coughing or wheezing to chest tightness, sometimes causing shortness of breath, or worse – a severe asthma attack. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Learn More Breathe Better national health education program provides information and resources on asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and other lung diseases and conditions to those who are managing these diseases, their caregivers and the health care providers who help treat them.
What is Asthma?
Reducing Allergens in your home
Monitoring your Asthma
Asthma Action Plan
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Many children in child care need assistance with managing their asthma (even during COVID). Here is a good resource for those who care for children in early learning settings - Caring for Children with Asthma during the COVID-19 Pandemic 7/8/21
Every 3 Minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room and over 60 percent of food allergy reactions at school take place in preschools and child care facilities, notes the Food Allergy Research & Education’s (FARE) website. Keeping children with food allergies safe and healthy can present a special challenge in early care and education programs if you are not prepared.
Children die in hot vehicles every year. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104 degrees and the ability to maintain or control body temperature is overwhelmed. Vehicles heat up quickly – even with a window rolled down two inches. If the outside temperature is in the low 80°s Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes! Children’s bodies overheat easily, and infants and children under four years of age are among those at greatest risk for heat-related illness. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s body temperature may increase three to five times as fast an adult. High body temperatures can cause permanent injury or even death.
Warning signs of heatstroke include:
! C S
It’s unsafe and bad practice to leave a child unattended in a car for any reason, even for a quick stop – e.g. in a parking lot or elsewhere to pick up food from a restaurant. In PA, it is a summary offense as specified in PA Statute Title 75 3701.1 Leaving an unattended child in a motor vehicle.
For heatstroke prevention information cited above, click here. For other traffic injury prevention information, contact the PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project of the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PA-TIPP) at 1-800-CARBELT, 484-446-3008 or see their website and resource page. 6/2021