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Infant sleep practices and policies: Steps to reduce the risk of a baby dying at an ECE Service

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Should you lose an infant at your early childhood service to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) how would you feel?3 months

You might consider there was nothing you could do to prevent this from happening – that if it was going to happen it was going to happen whether or not the baby was in its parents’ care or your care.

Now imagine also if you knew there was information on how to reduce the risk of SIDS but that you had not stopped to think, learn, and implement this knowledge – how would you feel then?

The information presented below provides the basics of what you need to know and do to reduce the risk of a sudden infant death. Discuss this information with others in your teaching team and with the service management so that you are all working together to keep infants safe.

It is often assumed that SIDS affects very young babies only, but one in five sudden infant deaths are of babies older than 4 months. Older babies are at risk too as they are able to change position and loose bedding can be a hazard as they go exploring in their cot.

Attending ECE makes infants much more susceptible to colds which can affect breathing. These infants may not be breastfed and receive the health benefits from this.

This article covers:

  • minimum regulations ECE services must comply with
  • best practices recommended by NZ infant sleep experts
  • guidelines and copy of best practices for ECE centres and home-based services
  • professional development/ learning opportunities

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