Safe sleeping pods in running for national award

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Safe sleeping pods in running for national award


1 May 2014

The team behind an innovative child health program being run in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast has been named a finalist in the 2014 HESTA Australian Nursing Awards in Melbourne on 8 May.

USC Professor of Nursing Jeanine Young, who leads the Queensland Pepi-pod Program, said the nomination recognised the team pioneering the use of a portable infant sleep space in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Cape York.

“The award nomination is in the Team Innovation category for work being done by the Apunipima Pepi-pod Program team aiming to reduce sudden infant death in Cape communities,” Professor Young said.

The Pepi-pod is a general-purpose polypropylene box transformed into an infant bed. It is small enough to fit between the parents in their bed, enabling babies to co-sleep in their own safe space.

“This program originated in New Zealand and the name of the pod comes from Pepi, which is Maori for baby, with the ‘pod’ symbolising protection of precious new life,” Professor Young said.

“Co-sleeping is a valued infant care practice by many families. However, it is associated with an increased risk of infant death in certain circumstances.”

USC is partnering the Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Children’s Health Queensland and Change for our Children New Zealand to roll out the program.

The Team Innovation Award winner will receive a $10,000 development grant. The awards are presented by HESTA, a super fund for health and community services.

— David Cameron

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