Topic 4 Page 2
High quality early childhood programs promote safe and healthy environments where children can thrive and grow. Children depend upon the adults in their lives to make healthful choices for them and to teach them to make smart choices for themselves.
Health policies are guidelines that support you in maintaining a climate of wellness by promoting healthy behaviors and preventing the spread of disease. The policies ensure that safe and appropriate health practices are in place. They also help to guide decision making about how to manage confusing or difficult situations. All licensed child care programs should have written health policies and procedures.
Written health policies should be signed by a physician, physician’s assistant, registered nurse, or public health nurse. The policy should be reviewed and approved whenever any changes are made in your health practices or procedures, and at least every three years.
Each program is unique, so new staff should be trained in the details of your health policy. All policies should be available for review by staff, parents, or others (licensors, health care consultants, etc.). Many programs have a three-ring binder at a central location that contains the Health Policy, Disaster Plan, Pesticide Policy, and Animals on the Premises Policy.
Your Health Policy will inform you of what to do in the case of a medical emergency. Among the forms families should sign when they enroll their child is a Medical Emergency Authorization form (also referred to as a Medical Consent form). With this form, families authorize and give personal consent for medical personnel to begin emergency medical treatment before parents arrive. Medical personnel should not provide services for a minor without the consent of his/her guardian. For your protection and the safety of the child:
- You should not accept a child for care before the parent signs the medical emergency authorization form.
- The medical emergency authorization form should be with the child at all times they are in your care. This includes field trips.
"All new staff should be trained in the details of health policy. This should be completed at the time of the new employee orientation.
Keep documentation that the staff person has been trained in the staff files."