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An Ounce of Prevention: Deterring Emergencies in Child Care Settings and Schools. Bethany Geldmaker, PNP, Ph.D. Virginia Department of Health Director, Early Childhood Health, Healthy Child Care Virginia . Learning Objectives. Define a child care emergency

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An ounce of prevention deterring emergencies in child care settings and schools l.jpg

An Ounce of Prevention:Deterring Emergencies in Child Care Settings and Schools

Bethany Geldmaker, PNP, Ph.D.

Virginia Department of Health

Director, Early Childhood Health, Healthy Child Care Virginia


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Learning Objectives

  • Define a child care emergency

  • Identify three categories of potential child care emergencies

  • Describe actions to take in working with child care emergencies


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Definition of Child Care

Any setting that houses children out of home, whether for care or education:

  • Before and after school programs

  • Public/private schools

  • Child care facility, faith based, or family day homes

  • Parks and recreation (e.g.-YMCA)


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It is an illness or injury that may threaten a child’s life OR

Cause permanent harm if action is not taken right away.

What it is not:

a health problem that needs a doctor’s advice or help but does not require the speed, special equipment, and training of emergency providers.

Definitions of Child CareEmergencies


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Non Emergency Situations

  • Situations that are not emergencies may be handled through basic first aid or can wait for the parent to immediately pick up and transport their child to the doctor or clinic office.


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Psychology Before a Disaster

  • A disaster will not happen……………………..

  • A disaster will not happen to me…………..

  • A disaster will not be that bad……………….

  • If it happens and it is that bad, there is nothing I can do about it.


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Types of Emergencies

  • Injury

  • Illness

  • Environmental hazard


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Child Care Emergencies: Injury

  • Bicycle - helmets

  • Automobile – car seats

  • Falls – playground safety

  • Poisonings – environmental safety


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Child Care Emergencies: Injury

  • Choking - CPR

  • Near drowning – water and environmental safety

  • Electric shock

  • Burns


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Child Care Emergencies: Injury

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)

  • Smoke inhalation

  • Drug overdose

  • Weapons (e.g.-firearms)


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Child Care Emergencies: Illness

  • Asthma

  • Seizures

  • Meningitis

  • Communicable diseases (e.g.- RSV)

  • Vaccine preventable diseases ( i.e.-tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis)

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome


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Child Care Emergencies: Environmental Hazards

  • Hazardous material incident

  • Lead poisoning

  • Fire

  • Weather related

  • Technological

  • Bioterrorism


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Symptoms of a Potential Emergency

  • Bleeding that does not stop

  • Rhythmic jerking

  • A large,deep burn or cut

  • Very loose or knocked out teeth

  • Increasing trouble breathing


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Symptoms of a Potential Emergency

  • Acting strangely, becoming more withdrawn, less alert, decreasing responsiveness

  • Any loss of consciousness, confusion, bad headache, or vomiting after hitting head


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Symptoms of a Potential Emergency

  • Fever over 104F in an infant

  • Slurred or unintelligible speech (based on child’s level of development)

  • Skin or lips that look blue, purple, or gray


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Response to an Emergency

  • STAY CALM!!

  • Assess the situation:

  • What type of care is needed (e.g.-CPR)

  • What level of emergency response is required


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Response to an Emergency

  • Activate child care center emergency preparedness plan:

  • who remains with the ill/injured child

  • who assumes responsibility for the rest of the children in the room/center


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Response to an Emergency

  • Communication:

  • who assumes responsibility for calling911

  • who contacts the child’s family

  • who works with the remaining staff and children



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Working with the Child Care Facility Following an Emergency

  • Recovery-

  • How and what needs to be communicated with staff, children, and families

  • How to debrief those who witnessed the event

  • Dealing with stress after the event


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Working with the Child Care Facility Following an Emergency

  • Resources

  • Mental health consultant

  • Social worker

  • Critical incident team

  • Faith based support


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How prepared was the center for the emergency?

Center debriefing

Were numbers posted

Contact numbers for parents

What were the lessons learned?

Center policies

Documentation

Coordination/response of outside resources

Working with the Child Care Facility Following an Emergency: Evaluation


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Ways to Help inChild Care Settings

  • CPR training

  • Awareness of the location of facilities that work with children

  • Awareness of children with special needs in the agency, school, or home

  • Education around policy development for emergencies, first aid, and safety


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Summary

  • Definition of an emergency in a child care center

  • Types of child care emergencies

  • Symptoms in a child with a potential emergency

  • How to respond to an emergency

  • Debriefing, recovery, and evaluation of

    the event



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Internet Resources

  • www.redcross.org

  • www.ericps.crc.uiuc.udu/cchp/factsheet/disasters.html

  • www.aap.org (Caring for Our Children, Preparing for Illness, Model Child Care Health Policies)

  • www.cdc.gov (The ABC’s of Safe and Healthy Child Care plus great fact sheets)


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Resources

  • It Pays To Prepare-- an emergency preparedness guide for child care providers www.vahealth.org (Early Childhood Health)


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