Educators reminded that safe sleep requirements trump parent preference, RA says
Children’s safety must take priority over parental sleep preferences, South Australia’s regulatory authority (RA) has said.
“Requests from parents to put their child to bed in a way that may not be safe can be hard to resist. But keeping children safe is the priority,” the advice read, compelling educators to follow the six safe sleep recommendations from Red Nose.
A service’s sleep policies and procedures must also reflect the Red Nose guidelines, the RA continued, with further guidance available from ACECQA on developing these policies.
“Parents may ask you to add a comforter or toy, or use a swing crib, for their child. However, these are not in line with Red Nose safe sleeping recommendations for babies,” the RA cautioned.
Deciding to allow a comforter “just while a baby goes to sleep” could still put them at risk. The comforter could end up covering the baby’s face and obstructing his/her breathing.
“Educators are required by law to protect children from harm and hazard. This includes during sleep and rest,” the RA noted, emphasising that “child safety is the priority. You may need to support families to understand what safe sleep practices are.”
For more information about safe sleep in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings, please see here.