Catholic Charities Early Head Start of Harford County is now part of an innovative national health literacy improvement program based on a book series that helps parents know what to do when their child is sick.

The “What to Do When My Child Gets Sick” book series covers more than 50 common illnesses, injuries and health concerns for children from birth to age 8. Research shows that emergency room visits drop nearly 50 percent when parents receive the book and complete the associated training. Unnecessary health clinic visits fall nearly 38 percent.

That means parents miss about 42-percent fewer work days. Each trained family also saves about $550 in ER and clinic visits per year.  

Catholic Charities’ Early Head Start of Harford County now delivers this easy-to-understand and culturally sensitive training. That makes the program part of the national initiative designed by the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Institute.

“The health training is very good for new parents,” said Early Head Start of Harford County Home Visitor Tiffany Worrell. “It’s a great on-hand resource when you are panicked.”

Early Head Start of Harford County was one of 33 programs nationwide to attend the institute’s training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After that training, the EHS team held a mock training for its staff and a few community partners. 

“I would recommend this training to anyone who interacts with children at home or at work, but especially to parents of young children,” said Liza Frye, an administrator with Carroll County Head Start, also a program of Catholic Charities. “The knowledge presented really helps to address health issues in a practical, loving manner, while easing parent anxieties and answering questions about the best way to care for children.”


Photo of program trainees

Early Head Start of Harford County offered training to its staff and some community partners.


Photo of two women at health care training

Part of the “What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick” training