Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection

3.4 Health Protection in Child Care

3.4.3 Emergency Procedures Medical Emergency Procedures

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/17/19.

All medical emergency procedures should take into account the specific needs of children enrolled, including such factors as age, abilities, special health care needs, and special developmental needs.1


In the event of an emergency, the following emergency procedures should be carried out:

  1. First aid should begin, and contact should be made with an emergency medical response team, such as 911 and/or Poison Control (1-800-222-1222).
  2. Plans to transport the ill or injured person(s) to a local emergency medical facility should be followed.
  3. The parent/guardian or emergency contact person should be contacted immediately.
  4. A staff member should accompany the child or adult to the hospital and stay with the individual until the parent/guardian or emergency contact person arrives. Child to staff ratio should be maintained, additional staff may be needed to maintain the required ratio.
  5. Debriefing should occur after an incident or emergency. Staff should discuss procedures, how well they were followed, and any changes that may need to be made.

Children with known medical conditions that might involve emergent care require a care plan created with the child’s primary health care provider in collaboration with the child’s parents/guardians. All staff need to be trained to manage an emergency until emergency medical care becomes available. Staff training in carrying out emergency medical procedures and plans, as well as providing first aid, should be conducted, at a minimum, annually.

The written medical emergency procedures and policies should be reviewed and practiced regularly, as well as immediately following an emergency, if changes are made to the facility or equipment, or if the needs of the children change.1,2


When staff know how to carry out the emergency medical procedures and plans, they will be able to prevent or minimize serious injury of children enrolled in early care and education programs.


Additional Resources

First aid training is available from:

The American Academy of Pediatrics -

The American Red Cross -

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Pre-service Training First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Staff Topics Covered in Pediatric First Aid Training Care Plan for Children with Special Health Care Needs Information Required for Children Who Are Ill Alternate Exits and Emergency Shelter Evacuation of Children with Special Health Care Needs and Children with Disabilities Use of a Poison Center Disaster Planning, Training, and Communication Emergency and Evacuation Drills Policy Evacuation and Shelter-In-Place Drill Record
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses. PedFACTs: Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2012

  2. National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start. Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs. Accessed December 20, 2018


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/17/19.