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#EatSafe campaign launched in memory of Oliver

Today, the Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-Agency Partnership (KSCMP Twitter) launched their official #eatsafe campaign with Olivers case as the main focus point and learning from his death.

EatSafe is a campaign designed to support safer eating in early years non-familial settings. The campaign was developed following the tragic death of Oliver Steeper in September 2021.

A child dies in the UK every month from choking and hundreds more require hospital treatment.  EatSafe has been designed to support early years settings providers and management to ensure the safeguarding of mealtimes and to reduce the risk of serious harm whilst eating. Whist primarily designed for early years settings, the principles and guidance may also be of use to other settings providing food to children in their care.

The campaign put together by KSCMP has gone above and beyond in our eyes with this campaign, after many phone calls with myself and Zoe, we wanted to make sure what happened in Olivers case, shouldn't happen to any other child.

Included in the practitioners guidance, is the TRUSTS cycle. A simplific and vibrant message empowering nursery, pre-school, childminders etc to talk to parents and ask "what stage of food is your child at?" This simplistic image should lead the way forward now in how settings operate in terms of getting to know children's food needs.

Visual food texture guide

This image has been designed to be displayed in your setting, to make it simpler and more effective in communicating what stage of food the child is at.

Guidance is also including on those children with feeding concerns such as dysphagia

Dysphagia describes eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties in babies, children, and young people. It often occurs with other health conditions such as being born prematurely, having cardiac, respiratory, ENT, neurological, gastro-enterology problems or renal difficulties. Further information can be found on the KCHFT website. The flow chart on the following images shows

how support can be given for children with dysphagia.

The booklet also going into great depths about organisation culture, safeguarding meal times, recognising and responding to choking and paediatric first aid.

What to consider and ask when considering childcare settings

When considering childcare provision, it may be helpful to be prepared with questions to ask prospective providers and know what information you want to have before making a decision. This sheet provides some questions or information you may wish to consider, although is not exhaustive.

Making use of childcare provision can be daunting for parents and carers.

These questions may help to reassure that trust can be placed in the professionals providing childcare, but you may also wish to ask other questions, for example, about your personal circumstances, child’s routine, and fees.

Providers should be open in answering questions that you have.

Oliver's legacy video..

Oliver Steeper was 9-months-old when he choked whilst being fed at nursery school and died in hospital six days later.  Oliver's parents have supported the development of the EatSafe campaign and we share their wish that it be a lasting legacy of Oliver's life.

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