Education and care providers will be aware that they are under a duty to adequately supervise children both when they are awake, and when they are asleep. Providers are also under duty to take every reasonable precaution to protect children from harm and hazard, and to ensure that their policies are being followed.
The content of a provider’s Safe Sleep and Rest policy is likely to directly affect the quality of supervision which is given to children who are sleeping or resting. It is therefore a fundamentally important policy for any education and care provider.
Education and care providers need to regularly review their Sleep and Rest policies to ensure they are based on the most up to date research and recommended evidence-based guidelines and principles. Red Nose Australia is considered to be the leading authority on safe sleep practices for infants and children and provides access to a range of resources and training programs.*
Based on our experience of what happens when things go wrong, Meridian Lawyers has reviewed many Safe Sleep and Rest policies for education and care providers, typically resulting in advice being given for improvement of those policies.
We recommend that in addition to reviewing the policy, providers also review the systems employed to ensure that the policy is being properly followed at the service.
For more information about our policy review and training services, please contact Georgina Odell, Principal on +61 2 9018 9975.
* Red Nose is an Australian registered charity which funds research into sudden infant and child deaths, and supports people who are impacted by the death of a child. Red Nose can be found at www.rednose.org.au
Red Nose estimates that some 3,000 babies and young children die suddenly every year in Australia. The Red Nose aim is to bring this number down to zero.