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Are State Child Care Regulations Meeting National Oral Health and Nutritional Standards?

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to review of US state child care center regulations on oral health and nutrition as related to early childhood caries (ECC). Methods: Child care center regulations for the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as of April 2010, were audited for their inclusion of 8 oral health and 11 nutrition topics related to the development of or care for ECC. The topics are based on selected recommended standards from Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Out-of-Home Child Care Programs. Results: On average, states had 2.6 (±1.7 SD; range=0-6) of the oral health standards and 5.9 (±2.5; range=1-11) of the nutritional standards included in their regulations. States varied greatly on the content covered. Seven states did not include any of the reviewed oral health topics. The 2 least covered regulations for oral health were “toothbrush maintenance” (4 states) and “oral health screening” (5 states). Conclusions: The weakness of coverage in child care center regulations for early childhood caries prevention calls to strengthen these policies for their potential to improve the oral health and obesity status of US children.
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Keywords: CHILD CARE CENTERS; DENTAL CARIES; INFANT; NUTRITION POLICY; PRESCHOOL CHILD

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign, Ill, USA. [email protected] 2: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill, USA 3: Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and Duke Global Health Institute, Durham, NC, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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