Porta-cot warning and policy updates: Safe Sleep
The Sector > Quality > Compliance > Porta-cot warning comes after updated ACCC Product Safety Guidelines

Porta-cot warning comes after updated ACCC Product Safety Guidelines

by Freya Lucas

April 08, 2024

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is progressively updating its policy guidelines and other resources relating to safe sleep following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Product Safety Australia update to its guidance on the safe use of portable or folding cots, also known as porta-cots.


The safest place to sleep for children under 12 months is in a safe cot on a safe mattress with safe bedding in a safe sleeping place, both day and night. Following this, and other recommendations for safe sleeping practices which are reflected in ACECQA’s policy guidelines (currently being updated), can help early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to reduce the risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy, including SIDS and fatal sleep accidents.


The updated guidance emphasises the importance of properly setting up porta-cots, checking for signs of damage before each use and ensuring a safe sleeping environment, rather than recommending short-term, temporary use only.


The ACCC Product Safety Australia’s updated guidelines note the potential risks of using portable cots and focus on strategies for their safe use, including:


  • use portable or folding cots that are designed to meet Australian standards as they can be a safe sleeping environment for infants when set up properly
  • remember that portable or folding cots are subject to wear and tear due to repeated folding, unfolding and portability
  • regularly check portable/folding cots for signs of damage and make sure the folding and locking mechanisms work correctly as they are generally less robust than permanent sleeping enclosures such as household cots
  • always remove cot accessories such as change tables and bassinet inserts when using the cot to avoid entrapment, entanglement, falling or other hazards.


Services which use porta-cots may need to update their safe sleep for children policies and procedures in line with ACCC’s new guidelines and make sure all staff are trained to implement the revisions.


Services are also encouraged to refresh their knowledge of the changes to sleep and rest provisions in the National Regulations that came into effect in October 2023, including the requirements for sleep and rest policies and procedures, risk assessments and the prohibition of bassinets on education and care service premises.

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