Use this updated checklist to identify hazards in indoor and outdoor active play areas. The checklist is followed by a table to use to plan corrective actions, and suggestions for how to finance any that require seeking additional money to cover costs. Updated 3/27/2014. Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2018.

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

Summer is a great time to see animals at a local fair or farm, to visit a petting zoo, or to have animals come visit an early education and child care facility. As cute as baby goats, ducklings and other animals can be, many of these animals carry germs that can make people sick.

Here are five ways to make visits with animals a safe, fun and healthy experience for all.

Hand Washing: Children and caregivers should wash their hands with soap and water after petting animals, touching animals, or even being in the animal area. Everyone in the group should wash hands whether or not they touched the animals. Find out in advance if soap and water are available. Don't visit if you find out the facility doesnít provide hand washing facilities. You can use hand sanitizers for children with visibly clean hands who are 24 months or older, but some animal germs are resistant to alcohol. As a make-do until you can get to soap and water, carry a plastic bag of paper towels wet with soapy water and a bag of paper towels just wet with plain water to clean and rinse the children's hands. Wash with running water as soon as you can.

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.

Many electronic toys, musical/talking books, mini remote controls, singing greeting cards and other electronics are in homes and early learning and child care programs.  Inside the battery compartment of these items are button-size, lithium batteries that can cause serious injuries when swallowed.  These batteries can get stuck in a child’s throat.  Saliva triggers an electrical current that causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus (food tube) in as little as two hours.  Children under the age of 4 years old are at highest risk for the injury.  In 2010 alone, more than 3,400 button battery swallowing cases were reported in the U.S., resulting in 19 serious injuries and in some cases, deaths. To learn more, view the 2 minute video from The Battery Controlled, a campaign supported by Energizer® and Safe Kids Worldwide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaUzbUb1NSI.  

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.

The CDC is a comprehensive source of information on public health issues, including immunization, sanitation, and infectious disease. The CDC provides a large library of information to the public on many topics. Some of the categories include: Diseases and Conditions; Emergency Preparedness & Response; Environmental Health; Life Stages & Populations; Healthy Living, Injury, Violence & Safety; Traveler's Health; Workplace Safety & Health. The CDC website includes a powerful search engine as well as alphabetical listings. Users will find fact sheets, videos, photos, posters, and other useful materials to download.

Recent legislation changed the legal requirements for child care providers related to suspected child abuse and neglect. Facilities with clearances issued before 12/31/14 that are less than 36 months old need new clearances 36 months from the previous clearance date. New clearances are required by 12/31/15 if clearances are more than 36 months old. New applicants’ clearances must be no more than 3 months old. Also, the clearance requirements apply to family or group home staff and to anyone in the household who is 18 years of age or older. All staff members who have any contact with children and were hired before 12/31/14 must complete state-approved child abuse training by 7/1/2015. Those hired after 12/31/14 must complete training within 90 days of hiring.    Use the new website, Keep Kids Safe PA to access key resources about child abuse and neglect. If you are reading a print copy of this newsletter, note that the URL is http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/. This website has a link for mandated reporters to make reports of suspected child abuse electronically. Electronic reporting is preferable. Go to www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis. If you can’t report electronically, you can report by phone at 800-932-0313 and then you must follow-up by submitting the state’s CY 47 form.

The state’s Keep Kids Safe PA website lists state-approved sources of required training. It explains how to get child abuse clearance and offers two state forms: the CY-113, the child abuse history clearance and the CY-47, the written report of suspected child abuse. Child care providers are mandatory reporters. The penalties for failure to report suspected child abuse can be severe.

The new laws protect child abuse reporters. They encourage and support reporting suspected child abuse and neglect electronically to improve the efficient use and tracking of child abuse data.   KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov has a link to the Child Welfare Information Gateway. The Gateway is a jointly sponsored service of three federal government agencies. Explore the Gateway website’s many excellent publications in English and Spanish. Search for a topic in the Gateway’s well-stocked catalog of publications at https://www.childwelfare.gov/catalog/. You can download free fact sheets, references and research information about child abuse and neglect.

In March, ECELS submitted for state approval an updated, online, video-based, interactive Child Abuse and Neglect self-learning module and a workshop curriculum. The content matches the state’s current criteria for required training. ECELS will send an Email Alert as soon as the state review/approval process is complete. At that time, these ECELS training options should appear on the KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov list of approved child abuse trainings. Be sure you have signed up at www.ecels-healthychildcarepa.org  to receive Email Alerts from ECELS.

ECELS Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop meets the Child Protective Services law requirements for mandated reporters.  In this workshop you will learn about prevention efforts, recognizing signs and symptoms of child maltreatment, reporting requirements and the process for reporting.  

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.

Learn how to protect children in your early care and education (ECE) program from abuse and neglect. This module addresses how to prevent, identify and report child abuse and neglect. It describes your responsibilities as a mandated reporter as required by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). By using the recommended practices, you will help ensure the safety of children in your care.

To complete this module, view the 3 online video segments Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3 . Use the links to the Document Packet, Glossary, Mandated Updates to Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting and Instructions to Claim Credit below for the current versions. Use the resources in the document packet and complete the Assessment and Reporting Scenarios Packet. You may either download the Assessment and Reporting Scenarios Packet or complete it online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KQ8L9WG. Follow the instructions in the "Friendly Reminders Box" when you submit your work for ECELS for review for professional development credit.

This module is approved for Act 31 credit.

Objectives:

  • Apply child abuse and neglect prevention efforts within families and among early care and education professionals
  • Identify signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect (maltreatment)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of PA reporting requirements for mandated reporters
  • Identify and outline the process of supporting those involved with an abused or neglected child
  • Demonstrate the use of nationally recognized resources in the development of policies and procedures

This workshop discusses how to reduce the risk of head injuries during active play and the importance of active supervision. This session highlights the benefits of using active play checklists and injury logs. Early learning practitioners will learn about accommodating a child in group care who has sustained a brain injury.(ECERS-ITERS: Space and Furnishings, Interaction, Activities. K7C2-84; 2 hours credit. 2/20.

This form guides 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. The attachments include a blank copy of the form and a sample of the completed form to address the problem of a 2 year old child who is biting other children.