Child Care Trainers and Providers
Risk Reduction Training for Child Care Providers
It is estimated that 48 percent of infants are in child care for some part of their day. Child care encompasses babysitters, grandparents and other relatives in addition to licensed centers, family-based centers, informal centers and other related organizations. In 1997, researchers found that more than 20 percent of SIDS deaths were occurring in child care settings, more than double what is expected given the number of infants in child care at any given time.
In addition, one-third of these deaths occurred within the infant’s first week and one-half of these deaths occurred on the infant’s first day in child care. It was also discovered that of the infants who died, 59.5 percent of these infants were found on their stomachs but were usually placed to sleep on their backs. This is called unaccustomed prone sleeping, which is a contributing factor to the high rate of SIDS in child care settings.1
Research indicates that many child care providers would benefit from health and safety information which includes an increased awareness of the BTS messages. Child care providers often have misconceptions about aspiration and place infants to sleep based on prior experience, ideas related to infant comfort and parental preference. It is clear that child care provider trainers need to supply child care providers with the tools and skills they need to practice infant sleep safety measures within their settings.
Prior to 1998, most States did not legislate/regulate sleep position for infants in child care settings.2,3 In 2002, Healthy Child Care America and NSIDPSC partnered in the development and release of a free SIDS risk reduction curriculum for child care providers, which has since been translated into Spanish, based on the National Caring for Our Children National Health Safety Guidelines. Since publication of research and programming began, 30 States have implemented SIDS risk reduction regulations and legislation for child care settings. However, training and enforcement of the regulations remains undocumented.