As part of the work to prepare professionals to manage disaster situations, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created a special webpage for professionals working in early education and child care settings. The AAP website about children and disasters has a special webpage for child care providers that includes carefully selected links to credentialed, practical sources of information. Users will find workbooks, guides, sample forms and other tools on these sites. The materials are appropriate for both center-based and home-based facilities. Reviewed and reaffirmed 3/2018.

A form to guide 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. There are two attachments: the form and an example of a completed form that addresses the problem of children who bite. Reviewed and reaffirmed 5/2019.

If you have a poisoning emergency, call 800-222-1222 to be connected with your local poison control center. The website of the American Association of Poison Control Centers lists addresses and contact information for poison control centers. You'll also find information on rumors about poisoning risks and games to play with a poison-prevention theme. 12/2012

General information for parents and caregivers about asthma, the most frequently occurring chronic illness in children. See Managing Chronic Health Needs in Child Care and Schools, 2nd Edition available from the bookstore of the American Academy of Pediatrics at https://shop.aap.org or search www.healthychildren.org for more information. In PA, please send your health and safety request with your name and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This workshop uses interactive discussion, visual aids and hands-on demonstrations to address the causes, symptoms, bodily responses, and current prevention and management for asthma episodes. 

Tips for parents and caregivers on managing human or animal bites. See Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, 4th Edition available at https://shop.aap.org  or search www.healthychildren.org for more information. In PA, please send your health and safety request with your name and phone number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This workshop highlights special practices needed to protect staff and children from contact with blood or other potentially infectious body fluids. Learn how to minimize risk of exposure to disease causing pathogens (germs, viruses, etc.) Learn how to meet Standard Precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. Explore the adequacy of your facility's policies and Exposure Control Plan. Discuss how to handle a biting incident.

This workshop teaches early learning practitioners how to recognize and manage occupational health risks, drawing on the content in Caring for Our Children: the National Health and Safety Performance Standards. Addresses management of stress, infectious disease risks and musculo-skeletal (ergonomic) challenges intrinsic to providing child care. Includes assessment of personal and work-site health promotion strategies.

Choking is a common cause of Emergency Room visits for young children. Nearly two thirds of choking episodes are associated with foods. Choking on food causes the death of approximately one child in the United States every 5 days. Hot dogs account for 17% of choking episodes related to food. Hard candy, peanuts, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter marshmallows, chewing gum and sausages cause choking too. Of non-food causes of choking, latex balloons are leading trouble-makers. In addition to balloons, small, round or cylindrical toys can block small air tubes.

Choking is a common cause of death for young children. Choking on food is most common. The food that is most often the cause is hot dogs. The most most frequent non-food cause is latex balloons. This one page fact sheet identifies what to do to prevent choking for young children. Use it as a handout or poster. Updated 2/2019.

A current poster with guidelines for CPR, including choking and first aid for other emergency conditions is available from the American Academy of Pediatrics bookstore. The guidelines say give Compressions first, then check the Airway, and then support Breathing with mouth to nose and mouth or mouth-to-mouth breaths (C-A-B). The C-A-B sequence applies to adults, children and infants. It does not apply to newborns. The AAP "3-in-1 First Aid/Choking/CPR" poster gives these instructions and gives brief instructions for what to do for common injuries too. Visit the AAP Bookstore to order copies of the new poster.  Reviewed 6/2021.

Plan to stay safe and healthy during a disaster. Every early care and education program should have a detailed plan for a disaster. Plans should include what to do about food, water, supplies, and documentation. Arrangements for evacuation, including transportation are essential. Sample plans are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition, Chapter 13, has fill-in-the-blank (form-field) policies for emergencies and disasters. The Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS) offers an Emergency Plan Checklist and Emergency Planning Self - Learning Module for 2 hours of professional development credit.

The widely-used Emergency Information Form on the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) records key health information for children with special health care needs. It should be completed and kept up-to-date, ready to give to Emergency Service Personnel who may not be familiar with the child's needs. Early education and before and after school personnel should use the information on the form to prepare for care a child might need in the event of an emergency that involves only the child or the group in the facility. It documents the child's medical history, medications, and treatments. To view and download the form, go to the AAP website at www.aap.org, and then enter "Emergency Information Form" in the search box. 

ECELS recognizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Multi-hazard Planning for Child Care course as a quality learning experience for emergency planning. It has many worksheets and suggestions from experts that help child care providers make effective plans.

Section 13 of Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition includes polices that early educators can use to write "best practice" emergency plans. The Appendixes of Model Child Care Health Policies include some documents that every program should have on hand: Appendix I, Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Health Care Needs, Appendix CC. Incident Report Form, Appendix DD. Child Care Initial Rapid Damage Assessment, Appendix EE. Sample Letter of Agreement with Emergency Evacuation Site, Appendix FF. Sample Letter to Parents About Evacuation Arrangements, Appendix GG. Evacuation Drill Long.  If you prefer to purchase the hard copy of Model Child Care Health Policies, 5th edition, it is available from the bookstore of the American Academy of Pediatrics order it online or call 888-227-1770.

For state-authorized training credit: Download the Emergency Plan Checklist that follows this description of the self-learning module. Identify the places where your emergency plan needs to be improved. Scan and e-mail or fax the following three documents to ECELS for 2 hours of state-authorized professional development credit that ECELS to review and approve:

  1. Your certificate of successful completion of the FEMA course
  2. A copy of your facility's updated Emergency Plan
  3. A copy of your completed Emergency Plan Checklist showing your plans for improvement. ECELS T/TA staff will review your work and, if needed, give you feedback you can use to further improve your plan

Be sure to follow the instructions in the “Important Reminders” box next to the list of self-learning modules on this webpage to submit your work for review by ECELS. (K7-C3-84). Instructions updated 6/2017.

PEMA has planning guidelines specific to child care found by clicking here, and then putting "child care" in the PEMA website search box. This site has the Child Care Emergency Planning Guide, a set of supporting forms and checklists as well as a fill-in-the-blank basic emergency plan. Other good information is available at www.readypa.org.  Reviewed and reaffirmed 7/8/21.