An innovative new film featuring pre-schoolers learning safe sleep practices in doll-play aims to create future generations who know safe sleep practice, and ultimately help reduce the number of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy cases.
The idea of the film was the brainchild of Southern DHB Public Health Nurse and Child Youth Mortality Coordinator, Sharon Ayto who won the ‘Southern Innovation Challenge’ in 2015. She received $10,000 towards the creation of this short educational film to show early childhood teachers and support staff how to model safe sleep practices. The film is now available on YouTube, or follow the pathway
Ms Ayto inspirations was two preschoolers at play with a doll during a wahakura workshop at Awarua Whānau Services in Invercargill. The girls put their ‘baby’ in the pram and covered her completely with the available blankets.
Every year in New Zealand about 50 babies die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). SUDI can occur when infants are sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment and many SUDI incidents can be prevented by ensuring every sleep is a safe sleep.
“By introducing safe sleep messages to preschoolers in doll-play we are creating an ongoing generation of individuals who have safe sleep practices as their norm. This is an opportunity to guide tomorrow’s parents in safe sleep practices,” explains Ms Ayto.
“This is a wonderful initiative, it’s such a simple and innovative idea which can be shared with early childhood teachers and support staff across New Zealand and even further. The messages for preschoolers are simple: Face Up, Face Clear, Safe Place,” said Southern DHB Midwifery Director, Jenny Humphries.
Featuring in the film are children from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Early Learning Centre; Emily Wilson, Early Childhood teacher; Stephanie Cowan Founding Director of Change for Our Children and Dr Viliame Sotutu, Paediatrician.