A new law will give childcare staff the right to ignore parents' wishes when it comes to their kids' sleeping routines. This movement hopes to lower the number of cases of cot death, also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.
The guidelines will be put into place on October 1, 2017, in Australia.
Babies will only be allowed to sleep on their back, and will no longer be allowed to sleep on their front or side. Infants with a valid medical reason will be excluded from the new law.
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority have approved of the new law.
Red Nose, a charity which aims to reduce the number of cot deaths, is the brains behind this new law. Its target is to reduce deaths from nine a day, to zero.
They shared their delight on their website, “This change will ensure consistency in child care centres across the country, so that every child will be slept according to Red Nose’s safe sleeping guidelines, which have reduced the rate of sudden unexpected death in infancy in Australia by 80 percent and saved 9,450 lives.”
Staff will also have the power to overrule parents' requests to swaddle or wrap the arms of children under three months old, unless they have approval from a doctor.
Childcare staff will have to abide by the Red Nose guidelines, rather than the parents' wishes.
There have been 113 baby deaths in Australia, where the cause of death was unknown; SIDS is believed to have been one of the main causes.
Mark Saint, who is a spokesman for the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, believes this is a great step. He said he feels like this new law will help reduce the number of unexplained deaths.
He understood that people may not approve of the new guidelines, but the staff must follow them, “a family’s beliefs and requests may conflict with current evidence-based guidelines, the service will need to determine if there are exceptional circumstances.”
The changes are not about dismissing parents' wishes; they are there to ensure children are receiving the best and safest care.
The safety of the babies is the main priority, and these new guidelines aim to create a safer environment for those who attend childcare facilities.