First aid training for staff and food preparation in nurseries

Following a recent inquest into the death of a child in a nursery, Ofsted has undertaken to  the Coroner to share his concerns with inspectors and with local authorities as part of their   statutory role in providing advice, guidance and training to registered providers.  

The young child choked on a small piece of sausage and, despite the best efforts of the staff to dislodge it and subsequently of medical staff, the child sadly died. The sausage created a ‘perfect plug’ in the child’s throat. The risk of this occurring, although slight, can be further reduced by ensuring that food such as sausage is cut lengthways rather than in a manner which creates a small round food particle.

The inquest also identified that the first aid training for nursery staff may not sufficiently equip staff to be able to dislodge small items of food from young children, particularly when firm tummy thrusts are required. As local authorities are responsible for the provision or the arrangement of first aid training for nursery staff, you may want to review the adequacy of the training provided in your authority. 

We will also be notifying the Department for Education for consideration as part of their revisions to the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Phil Gould – Senior Manager, Early Years and Childcare team (Ofsted)

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