Safe Sleep Practices and SIDS Risk Reduction

All staff, parents/guardians, volunteers, and others who care for infants in the early care and education setting should follow safe sleep practices as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Cribs must be in compliance with current U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTM International safety standards. See Standard for more information.

Care Plan for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Children with special health care needs are defined as “. . . those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally” (McPherson, 1998).

Interior Temperature of Vehicles

The interior of vehicles used to transport children for field trips and out-of-program activities should be maintained at a temperature comfortable to children. All vehicles should be locked when not in use, head counts of children should be taken before and after transporting to prevent a child from being left in a vehicle, and children should never be left in a vehicle unattended.

Passenger Vans

Early care and education programs that provide transportation for any purpose to children, parents/guardians, staff, and others should not use 15-passenger vans when avoidable.

Preventing and Identifying Shaken Baby Syndrome and Abusive Head Trauma

All programs should have a policy and procedure to identify and prevent shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma. All caregivers/teachers who are in direct contact with children, including substitute caregivers/teachers and volunteers, should receive training on preventing shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma; recognition of potential signs and symptoms of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma; strategies for coping with a crying, fussing, or distraught child; and the development and vulnerabilities of the brain in infancy and early childhood.

Water in Containers

Bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, and other open containers of water should be emptied immediately after use.

Availability and Use of a Telephone or Wireless Communication Device

The facility should provide at all times at least one working non-pay telephone or wireless communication device for general and emergency use on the premises of the child care program, in each vehicle used when transporting children, and on field trips. While transporting children, drivers should not operate a motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone or wireless communications device when the vehicle is in motion or traffic.

Foods that Are Choking Hazards

Caregivers/teachers should not offer foods that are associated with young children's choking incidents to children under 4 years of age. Food for infants should be cut into pieces ¼ inch or smaller, food for toddlers should be cut into pieces ½ inch or smaller to prevent choking. Children should be supervised while eating, to monitor the size of food and that they are eating appropriately.

Guardrails and Protective Barriers

Guardrails or protective barriers, such as baby gates, should be provided at open sides of stairs, ramps, and other walking surfaces (e.g., landings, balconies, porches) from which there is more than a 30 inch vertical distance to fall.