Safe Sleeping Practices
We implement safe sleep and napping practices to reduce the risk Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the spread of contagious diseases. In order to maintain safe sleep practices, these policies and procedures will be followed for infants:
- Healthy infants will always be put to sleep on their backs. Side sleeping is not as safe as back sleeping and is not advised. Research shows that putting an infant to sleep on his back does not cause him to choke or aspirate.
- All children who are less than 12 months old must be placed on their backs to nap/sleep. Once infants can easily roll over from their stomachs to their backs and from their backs to their stomachs, the infant must initially be placed on their back, but can be allowed to adopt whatever position they prefer for sleep. However, infants who are unable to roll from their stomachs to their backs and from their backs to their stomachs must be placed on their backs when found face down.
- If a parent/guardian requests that their child be put to sleep in a position other than on their back, the parent must provide a Physician’s Signed Note that explains how the infant should be put to sleep and the medical reason for this position. This note will be kept in the child’s medical file and all staff will be notified of the infant’s prescribed sleep position.
- Infants will be placed to sleep on a firm mattress that fits tightly in a crib that meets Consumer Product Safety Commission safety standards. The sheet will fit the mattress snugly.
- No toys, stuffed animals, pillows, crib bumpers, positioning devices (unless ordered by a health care provider) or extra bedding will be in the crib. Teachers are prohibited from covering cribs or playpens with blankets or bedding.
- Parents may provide a sleep sack for extra warmth. Signed Permission slip required.
Overheating is one of the risk factors for SIDS; to avoid overheating:
- Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
- Avoid excessive blankets and bedding.
- Do not overdress infants when they sleep.
- The infant’s head will remain uncovered when he/she sleeps.
- Sleeping infants will be visually checked every 15-20 minutes. This is especially important during the first weeks an infant is in child care. The infant will be observed to verify that the infant’s skin color is normal, and the infant’s chest is rising and falling as he/she breathes.
- Infants will not share cribs.
- Infants will never be put to sleep on a couch, chair, or cushion.
- Awake infants will have supervised "Tummy Time" to allow for the development of strong back and neck muscles and prevent the development of flat areas on the head.
- The time infants spend in a car seat, swing or bouncy chair will be limited, as this can delay motor development and may also cause the infant to develop a flat area on the back of her head
- If an infant falls asleep in a swing or bouncer, the infant must be moved to a crib or playpen for the remainder of his/her naps or sleep time.
- Pacifier use has been shown to decrease the risk for SIDS. Infants may be offered a pacifier when they are in the crib if parents offer a pacifier at home. Pacifiers will not be attached by a string or to the infant’s clothing.
- If a parent drops off an infant in a car seat, that infant must be moved to a crib or playpen. The caregiver cannot use bouncy seats, car seats, swings, or any other sleeping device for sleeping infants.
- Teachers will remain in the classroom with the children to ensure constant care and supervision. They will maintain adequate lighting in the classroom so they can complete visual and physical checks to make sure the children are not overheated or in distress.
- Teachers are not allowed to use sound machines or any device that may interfere with their ability to see or hear a child in distress.
- Smoking (including vapor) is not permitted on the center premises at any time. Teachers are required to change clothing and wash their hands if they do smoke off premises during break time.
- Teachers will be given a copy of our policy before their first day of employment. They will also be required to complete a safe sleep training course within 30 days of employment.
- Parents will be given a copy of our safe sleep policy upon enrollment.