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The 2010 U.S. Surgeon General's Report makes it clear that there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. Parents and caregivers are the main sources of tobacco smoke exposure to children. Child care centers have an opportunity to help decrease secondhand smoke exposure to both children and caregivers by implementing a Tobacco-Free Policy. Healthy starts with you! WellSpot designation requires child care centers to implement a Tobacco-Free Policy at all levels of designation. For sample policies and tips for implementing in your center, visit the provided resources.
Let's Move! Child Care is a voluntary program that gives child care and early education providers the tools to help children develop healthy habits for life. It can be used by child care centers, family day homes, Early Head Start and Head Start programs, Pre-K, preschool, tribal child care programs and faith-based programs. There are two WellSpot benchmarks associated with Let's Move! Child Care, one for completing a self-assessment and one for fully implementing the action plan. Child care center WellSpots are required to complete a Let's Move! Child Care or NAP SACC self-assessment to achieve designation at Level 2 or higher.
NAP SACC is an easy-to-use online or in-person tool for early care and education programs interested in building healthy eating and physical activity habits in children. NAP SACC is based on a set of best practices - recommendations that stem from the latest research and guidelines in the field. Programs work with a NAP SACC consultant to improve their practices, policies, and environments and meet best practices.
For more information about NAP SACC for Louisiana, contact Leslie Lewis at (504)568-3529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, with 40% of children having caries by the time they enter kindergarten.1 Early childhood caries (ECC) can cause significant pain for children and can lead to oral infection, visible dental decay, destruction and loss of teeth, and damage to permanent teeth. This can impact a child's self-esteem, sleep patterns, school readiness, weight gain, and more. Child care centers can play an important role in the reduction of ECC by educating children and their parents on the importance of healthy oral hygiene.
To achieve this benchmark for WellSpot designation, child care centers can implement a tooth brushing program or provide monthly oral health care education. Other ideas for promoting oral health include development and implementation of an oral health policy, displaying pictures of children brushing/flossing their teeth, designating story time for an appropriate oral health book, and collaborating with a local community clinician to educate parents on oral health.
1. Pierce KM, Rozier RG, Vann WF. Accuracy of pediatric primary care providers'screening and referral for early childhood caries. Pediatrics 2002;109(5):E82. Available at : "http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/5/e82.long".
Child care providers have the opportunity to help children develop healthy behaviors for life, starting with modeling those healthy behaviors for them. By showing children how to eat healthy and stay active, staff teach children how to live a healthy life. To meet this benchmark, child care centers must implement at least one of the following practices for modeling healthy behaviors to students/children:
- No sugar sweetened beverages or unhealthy snacks consumed in front of children
- Staff sit and eat meals and snacks with children
- Staff participate in active play time
For resources on implementing these practices in your center, please visit the links provided below.
It is important to ensure that children are protected from the sun. Exposure to the sun during childhood is a risk factor for developing skin cancer later in life. Educating children about sun safety and protecting their skin from an early age can help them develop healthy habits that can be used throughout their life. Child care centers have the opportunity and the obligation to protect their students from sun exposure. To meet this benchmark, child care centers must implement a Sun Safety Policy. Visit the links provided below for resources and sample policies.
Screen time is any time spent using electronic devices, including TV, videos, DVDs, computers, tablets, video games and handheld devices. Children spend an average of seven hours per day using electronic devices (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016). For growing bodies and developing minds, it is important to limit screen time use.
This toolkit provides resources your center can use to write, implement and educate on the electronic devices policy and highlights resources for you to review that will help you as you work to limit and reduce screen time in your center.