“That’s above my payscale…”

That’s what the health professional said to me after explaining why she cannot advocate or even discuss how to minimise risk with families who are sharing sleep (cosleeping).

Learn more about safer sleep

You see, her health jurisdiction is still stuck in the Dark Ages of safe sleep messaging and they promote a ‘risk elimination’ approach that dictates a blanket no cosleeping rule in all of their policies.

When I suggested that risk elimination was no longer the approach backed by evidence and instead a risk minimisation approach was and how vital it was that her employer update their policies to actually be able to serve the families in their care, she passed me off with a ‘well that’s above my payscale’ comment.

And I'm here to say today what I said to her on the day, when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of the people in your care, NOTHING is above you payscale!

You have an obligation and duty of care to speak up when you KNOW policies are making care inadequate.

I know many people feel quite small and powerless in situations like this and I get that it may seem like a pointless exercise when you work for a behemoth of an organisation with layers of bureaucracy and deeply entrenched beliefs and practices.

I get it. I have felt like I am pushing sh%^ up hill with a rake for the better part of the last 6 years BUT that doesn’t mean we don’t even try.

Professionals on the frontline working with families … YOU need to speak up.

As much as you can, in whatever way you feel might cut through, over and over and over again.

Because, it’s almost a guarantee you are not the only one with your concerns about the issues you are seeing. And it is the collective, repetitive rumblings that bring concerns through to a crescendo that even the most closed-off, slow-to-move organisations cannot ignore.

MOST families will share sleep with their baby in the first few months of life and they are far more likely to do so in dangerous way if it is done unintentionally and if they have received no information on how to prepare a shared surface safely and minimise risk for their unique family.

Why is risk minimisation vital?

It’s EVERYONE’s business to ensure that is the message cutting through to families right now.

If your organisations is standing in the way of that, it’s time to speak up and use your contacts and relationships to take this as high and wide as it needs to go to see that change.

Image credit: Vida Images