Urgent Information and Notifications

3/2017 - Outbreak of E. Coli Infections Linked to I.M. Healthy Brand SoyNut Butter

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and several states are currently investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in several states. Most of the ill people are young children. Several of them have developed a serious complication from their infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure. Select the link to learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2017/o157h7-03-17/index.html

7/2016 - Extreme Heat Precautions

As summer temperatures soar across the state of Idaho child care providers must take additional precautions to avoid heat related illness and death for the children in their care. Check out the following resources for guidance on outdoor play and preventing child deaths in hot cars.

2/2016 - Zika Virus Information for Child Care Programs

What do child care providers need to know about the Zika Virus? Click on the following link to learn more about the Zika Virus and how you can help limit the spread: OHSEPR: What Head Start or Child Care Programs Need to Know About Zika Virus

08/2015 - Air Quality Issues and Concerns During a Wildfire Smoke Event

Air quality is currently ranging from good to hazardous across the state of Idaho. Wildfire smoke is especially harmful to young children because they breathe in more air per pound of body weight. Child care providers can help reduce exposure to wildfire smoke for the children in their care by monitoring the local air quality index (AQI) daily and following recommended safety measures.

Please see the links listed below for more information:


02/2015 - Immunization Protects Us All - from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. For example, so far in 2015, more than 100 people across the United States have been reported to have measles. Measles is very contagious. It can spread through the air when people with measles cough or sneeze. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he or she has measles—up to 4 days before the telltale measles rash appears.

Your children’s health is a priority to us. Children younger than 5 years of age are at risk for a serious case of measles if they get it. So we would like to remind you to keep your children up to date on their vaccines. That means make sure they get their first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 through 15 months, and a second dose when they are 4 through 6 years old.

We care for children of many ages, and some of them are too young to be protected by vaccination. For example, children younger than 6 months of age cannot get MMR vaccine. Others may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them all safe, it is important that you and your children who are able to get vaccinated are fully immunized. This not only protects your family but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your child’s friends in our classrooms.

For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines

02/2015 - Information for Child Care Centers - from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Measles in a child care center can be serious and disruptive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults, including childcare center staff, as well as children be protected against measles and get vaccinated, if needed, according to their age and health status. Child care centers should follow their state and local regulations. Additionally, child care centers should:

  • Follow their state requirements for documenting immunization of children in the center. More information on which immunizations are required for each age group can be found at CDC - Immunization Requirements for Child Care and School
  • Encourage families to speak with their doctor about their child’s vaccination status. Child care providers should also encourage parents to contact their doctor about any symptoms the child may have that are consistent with measles.
  • Promptly notify state or local public health officials of any suspected measles cases and take steps to minimize the risk of measles spreading to other children. These steps include promptly cleaning the areas in which children with suspected or confirmed measles were present, notifying parents in the center, and ensuring that unvaccinated children remain at home for 21 days after exposure to the last measles case.
  • Know that measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. An infected person can spread measles to others even before developing symptoms—from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterward. Children younger than 5 years of age and adults older than 20 years of age are at high risk of getting a serious case of measles.

The best way to protect against measles is to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine shot (called the MMR shot). CDC recommends routine childhood immunization for MMR vaccine starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age or at least 28 days following the first dose. Easy-to-read immunization schedules for all ages are available at CDC - Immunization Schedules