A child died in a nursery after choking on a cube of raw jelly used as part of sensory play during a free-flow arrangement.
Following this, the risk of young children choking on raw jelly cubes has been highlighted and the Food Standards Agency and the Local Government Association have been asked by Ofsted to raise awareness of these potential risks.
If you would like to know more information about the inquest, please contact Westminster Coroner’s Court. It’s anticipated that details of the report to prevent future deaths will be made available on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website shortly.
What you need to know
As a childcare professional it is your responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure staff and children in your care are not exposed to risks and are able to demonstrate how you’re managing those risks.
That means risk assessing, levels of supervision, looking at good risk versus bad risk and adhering to frameworks and legislation. Find out what you need to know about risk assessing in our handy guide for members.
It’s also important to consider the ages and stages of development of the children in your setting, and assessing children’s progress in order to ensure the activities and planning is appropriate to meet the child’s unique needs.
Take a look at our factsheets on effective learning, assessing children’s progress and using child and adult led play in your setting.
By arming yourself with all the information and training you need to feel confident and be qualified, this should empower you to deliver a fun and safe learning environment for the children in your care.
In the event of an accident or incident in your care, you and your staff should be paediatric first aid trained.
St John Ambulance launched a recent campaign to highlight the actions you should take to save a choking baby here; a video that can be shared to raise awareness further.
Messy play ideas
This story has highlighted the need to raise awareness of using raw jelly cubes and risk assessment in your setting. However, it does not mean that messy and sensory play need be a dangerous or hazardous activity.
Messy and sensory play has many benefits for children discovering textures and sensations. You can find out more and get inspiration with our Messy Play video.
Plus, find loads more fantastic ideas in our PACEY Local Creative ideas forum.