NSW Police Legacy Child Safety Handbook

Page 1

Summer Edition 2017/18


Proudly brought to you by NSW Police Legacy

artwork by: Jasmine sarin

iT’S THE LAW that people who work with your children must have a working with children check. Download a free parent’s brochure from our website:




As a Patron of New South Wales Police Legacy, I am honoured to be associated with the Child Safety Handbook. Making New South Wales a better and safer place for our children is a responsibility for the whole community. This handbook includes everything we need as a community to protect our most valuable and vulnerable resource – our children. From preventative measures at home to safety outdoors, from cybersafety to dealing with peer presures, this handbook is a resource for every family, school community organisation. I applaud New South Wales Police Legacy on its continuing commitment to child safety.

General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South Wales

HOW TO USE THE ICONS IN THIS APP Tap icons below in each section to navigate to website, videos, brochures or apps to keep up to date with the latest safety messages. Remember child safety is no accident!

Links to an external website

Links to video

Links to pdf information

Link to download app for your smart phone / tablet



oght call. Know number the righ to c USEFUL CONTACTS

TRIPLE ZERO (000) For emergencies or life threatening situations


CRIME STOPPERS (1800 333 000)

For non emergencies

To provide crime information anonymously

m. phone. Remember You nevertoknow save when these you numbers will need to your them. phone NAME



Alcohol & Drug Information & Counselling Service (24 hours)

1800 422 599


Alcoholics Anonymous Australia

1300 222 222


Anaphylaxis Australia

1300 728 000


Australian Childhood Foundation (counselling for children affected by abuse)

1800 176 453


Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN)

1800 1234 00

Australian Drug Foundation (information)

1300 85 85 84


K Kids Help Line


13 11 14 (24 hours)


Marine Rescue NSW

02 9450 2468 or call 000


Mensline Australia

1300 789 978 (24/7)


Mental Health Foundation

1800 011 511 (24/7)

Mission Australia Help Line

13 11 14


National Security Hotline

1800 123 400


NSW Rural Fire

1800 679 737


1800 880 176


Parent Line

1300 1300 52


Poisons Information Centre

131 126 (24 hours)


13 7848 (13 QUIT)


Life Line

www.acorn.gov.au www.druginfo.adf.org.au

B Beyond Blue

1800 55 1800


1300 22 4636


Child Protection Helpline

132 111


Crime Stoppers Hotline

1300 333 000






O Office of the e-Safety Commissioner


Dental Hospital Service (Emergency Only)

(02) 9293 3333


Department of Community Services (DOCS) Helpline

132 111 (24 hrs)


Domestic Violence Line

1800 65 64 63

www.domesticviolence.nsw. gov.au

Rape Crisis Centre

1800 424 017


Domestic Violence Advocacy Service



Rape & Domestic Violence Counselling Line

1800 737 732 / 1800 RESPECT



Relationships Australia

1300 364 277


Family Drug Help

1300 660 068



Family Drug Support Australia

1300 368 186 (24/7)


Salvation Army Care Line

13 72 58 / 13 SALVOS


Family Relationship Advice Line

1800 050 321


State Emergency Service (SES)

132 500


Fire & Rescue NSW



Sexual Assault Crisis Line

1800 806 292


Suicide Call Back Service

1300 659 467 (24/7)

www.suicidecallbackservice. org.au

Sydney Childrens Hospital Randwick

(02) 9382 1111


The Childrens Hospital Westmead

(02) 9845 0000


Translating and Interpreting Service

13 14 50 (interpreter over the telephone)


1800 801 501


G Gender Centre (services for people with gender issues)

(02) 9569 2366


H Health Helpline (24/7)

I can Quit

13 7848 (13 QUIT)


Indigenous Women's Legal Contact Line (Domestic Violence)

1800 639 784



W Womens Legal Service NSW (Domestic Violence)



Quitline – for counselling


1800 022 222


Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program


1800 600 700.




FOREWORD BY NSW PREMIER There is no higher priority than protecting our children, and because of this, I am very proud to support NSW Police Legacy’s Child Safety Handbook. The greatest tool available to combat youth vulnerability is through knowledge. The Child Safety Handbook is an excellent tool designed to communicate prevention strategies to parents, families, friends and citizens. The following pages contain important information that can save lives and I encourage you to take the time to read through them thoroughly. I congratulate NSW Police Legacy for its invaluable work and commitment to providing such a valuable resource to help protect the youngest members of our society.

hinkUKnow Gladys Berejiklian MP

Premier of New South Wales Member for Willoughby

ThinkUKnow Austra Commonwealth Bank and agencies. It aims to raise challenges they may face

Information for pare • You can visit our webs advice onPolice, raising is a partnership between the Australian Federal Microsoft,childr Australia is a partnership between the ThinkUKnow AustralianAustralia Federal Police, Microsoft, Datacom and the Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank and is delivered in collaboration with the NSW •agencies. Encourage child’s Bank and is delivered in collaboration with NSW Police Force andlawother Australian law enforcement Police Force and other Australian enforcement It aims to raise your awareness amongst parents, carers and teachers of how young people might use technology, the s to raise awareness amongst parents, carers and teachers of how young people might use technology, the completing the booking they may face and how to help them overcome these challenges. may face and how to help them overcomechallenges these challenges. during business hours. Information for parents: ThinkUKnow Australia is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Microsoft, Datacom and the for parents: • You can our website, www.thinkuknow.org.au, • Subscribe to our month Commonwealth Bank and is delivered in collaboration withvisit NSW Police Force and other Australian law enforcement for information andteachers advice onofraising childrenpeople in ur website, www.thinkuknow.org.au, for information and agencies. It aims to raise awareness amongst parents, carers and how young might use technology, the a digital these age. challenges. trends and issues. challenges they may face and how to help them overcome ng children in a digital age. • Encourage your child’s school to book a



ThinkUKnow presentation ur child’s school toforbook a ThinkUKnow presentation by by completing the Information parents: booking form on our website, or calling 1300 • You can visit website, www.thinkuknow.org.au, for information e booking form onour our website, or calling 1300 936andhours. 362 936 362 during business advice on raising children in a digital age. • Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay ss hours. • Encourage your child’s school to book a ThinkUKnow presentation by up-to-date on the latest trends and issues. completing the booking form on our website, or calling 1300latest 362 936 ur monthly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on the during business hours. ThinkUKnow can help: ues. • Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stayHow on the latest • up-to-date Inform parents, carers and teachers on the

How ThinkUKnow c • Inform parents, carers • Raise awareness of th trends and issues. benefits of technology. • Empower parents to he • Raise awareness of the challenges of technology. Know How canThinkUKnow help: • Empower parents to help their child overcome can help: • Encourage ongoing co challenges online. s, carers and parents, teachers onandthe benefits technology • Inform carers teachers on theof benefits of technology • Encourage ongoing conversations around cyber • Raise awareness ofof thetechnology challenges of technology ess of the challenges • Promote a partnership safety, security and ethics. The Hon. Troy Grant, MP • Empower parents to help their child overcome challenges online

The Hon. Troy Grant,for MP • Promote a partnership approach to creatingDeputy a The Hon. Troy Grant, MP ents to help theirongoing child overcome challenges online Premier, Minister • Encourage conversations around cyber safety, security and ethics Minister for Police safer online environment. Justice and Police • Promote a partnership approach to creating a safer online environment Deputy Premier, Minister for Services Minister for Emergency going conversations around cyber safety, security and ethics Justice and Police tnership approach to creating a safer online environment


FOREWORD BY CHAIRPERSON NSW Police Legacy is honoured to provide the Child Safety Handbook to parents of primary school children throughout the State. This free handbook has attained an outstanding reputation as an invaluable resource guide for parents to help educate their children about key health and safety issues confronting our children today. NSW Police Legacy, in conjunction with Associated Media Group of Sydney, has been publishing this handbook for over 5 years and it gives me great pleasure that we are able to continue to provide this outstanding and current reference guide. I would especially like to extend our gratitude to the organisations whose advertising in this book has made it possible to produce the Child Safety Handbook as well as enabling NSW Police Legacy to continue to support the bereaved families of deceased Police Officers across New South Wales.

Paul Bousfield Chairperson NSW Police Legacy




FOREWORD BY NSW COMMISSIONER OF POLICE Childhood should be full of happy memories, as kids learn about the world and develop the skills they will need as they grown and learn. While lack of inhibition and risk taking are characteristic of growing children they can also be vulnerable, particularly in circumstances that they have not previously experienced. The best preparation for those times is learning. Knowledge is power and the NSW Police Legacy Child Safety Handbook gives power to parents, carers and teachers in the form of advice on safety at school, at home, indoors, outdoors and on personal safety. It also provides advice on what to do in emergencies. Prevention from harm is the best way to protect our children and this handbook focuses on practical ways that we can prevent our children from coming into harm’s way. This edition of the handbook continues NSW Police Legacy’s tradition of community support. It’s work, tireless and worthwhile, has the support of all members of the NSW Police Force. Well done and thank you to NSW Police Legacy and to the businesses that have supported this publication.

M.J Fuller APM Commissioner of Police

The NSW Ombudsman handles complaints about the provision of community services for children, reviews the complaint-handling systems of service providers, and oversees agencies’ investigation into allegations of a child protection nature against employees.

is committed to improving transport safety in NSW and supports Police Legacy’s Child Safety Handbook

www.ombo.nsw.gov.au Child Safety sixth page ad 91x85mm_Jan18.indd 1

26/07/2017 1:12:30 PM



STUDENT WELLBEING HUB Feeling safe and supported is the right of everyone in the school community. The resources available on the Student Wellbeing Hub help to create learning communities that promote student wellbeing and the development of respectful relationships. The Hub is guided by the principles of the National Safe Schools Framework, which highlight the importance of educators, parents and students working together. We can make a difference, starting now.

NATIONAL SAFE SCHOOLS FRAMEWORK 1. Leadership commitment to a safe school Leadership is integral to the safety and wellbeing of all members of the school community. School leaders work within and beyond the boundaries of the school to establish policies, programs and procedures that ensure a safe, supportive and respectful learning community. 2. A supportive and connected school culture Students feel safe in a school community that promotes and acts on positive values, is inclusive of cultural diversity and fosters positive, caring and respectful relationships between all members of the school community. 3. Policies and procedures The creation of a safe school is de-

pendent upon the development and implementation of clear policies and procedures, drafted, refined and reviewed in collaboration with teachers, parents, carers and students. Shared understanding and ownership of these policies and procedures helps to support student safety and wellbeing. 4. Professional learning Professional learning leads to capacity building, so that teachers use the knowledge, skills and strategies they have developed to support the safety and wellbeing of all members of the school community. This professional learning needs to be extended to casual, specialist and visiting staff. 5. Positive behaviour management A safe school is one that takes action to promote and recognise positive student behaviour, ensure student safety and minimise risk. School leaders, teachers and families can all contribute to the positive behaviour management of students inside and outside the classroom. Students themselves play an important role in creating and maintaining a safe and supportive school environment. 6. Engagement, skill development and safe school curriculum Three interrelated features of learning and teaching are essential for a safe school: student engagement, which creates awareness of safety and well-

studentwellbeinghub.edu.au being issues; a safe school curriculum, which builds students’ understanding of respectful, positive relationships; and cooperative and relational skills, which support appropriate social and emotional behaviour. 7. A focus on student wellbeing and student ownership Students play a powerful role in the development and maintenance of a safe school. They can make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of all students in the school, their families and members of the broader community. Through assuming ownership for their own safety and wellbeing, as well as that of others, students develop a sense of connectedness and add meaning and purpose to their lives. 8. Early intervention and targeted support Early intervention and targeted support are essential elements of a safe school. Identifying ‘at risk’ students is the first important step in the development of strategies and processes that provide ongoing support to these students and their families. 9. Partnerships with families and community Key partnerships with families, community organisations and justice system staff help to create a consistent and supportive approach to safety and wellbeing.

To contact the Child Protection Helpline call 132 111.

Mandatory reporters should first complete the Mandatory Reporter Guide at reporter.childstory.nsw.gov.au 6


CONTENTS NSW Governor Foreword Useful Contacts NSW Premier Foreword NSW Police Legacy Chairperson Foreword NSW Police Commissioner Foreword Student Wellbeing Hub SAETY AT SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 - 11

Bullying What is bullying? What can I do if my child is being bullied? How do I know if my child is being bullied? What if my child has witnessed bullying? What if I think my child is displaying bullying behaviour? Help your child be resilient Beyond bullying What will my school have in place to deal with bullying? PERSONAL SAFETY

12 - 15

What is child abuse? Parents - What can I do? What will Family and Community Services do? What if a report is made about me or a child in my care? How do I know if a child or young person is being abused? Possible signs of neglect Physical abuse Sexual abuse Psychological harm Mandatory reporters How do I make a report? Responding to and reporting risk of abuse and neglect Quick guide to using the mandatory reporting guide SAFETY AT HOME Home Alone Answering the phone Answering the door Parent’s guide to online safety Cyberbullying Trolling The working with children check Too much time online Help and resources Window Safety Checklist Blind and Curtain Cord Safety Security Screen Safety Tips Toppling Furniture Basic First Aid Allergic Reactions Asthma Attacks Bleeding Poisoning Sprains & Strains Cuts & Bruises First aid for cuts Burns & Scalds

First aid for burns and scalds DRSABCD action plan Choking Pool Safety Kids can drown without a sound Water & Pool Safety for Children Safe in the sun - a reminder Safe backyard play Trampolines

16 - 31

FIRE, FLOOD & STORM SAFETY 30 - 41 Fire Safety Smoke Alarms Cooking Fires What to do in case of a fire Fire Safety Equipment Barbeque Safety LPG & Cylinder Safety Plan a Safe Escape Bush Fire Safety Prepare / Act / Survive Storm, Flood and Tsunami Safety Stormsafe Floodsafe Your emergency checklist Tsunamisafe HEALTH AND SAFETY

40 - 51

Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing What is children’s mental health? Should I be concerned? Responding to children who may be experiencing mental health difficulties Dental health Tooth Decay Cleaning Teeth Dental Emergencies Health Habits for children Australian guide to healthy eating Healthy kids Fresh tastes @ school Food allergy or intolerance Signs & Symptoms What is Anaphylaxis? Diagnosis Management & Treatment Common Food Allergy signs and symptoms Immunisation About Immunisation What’s the difference between immunisation and vaccination Why vaccinate Side effects Keeping records Where to vaccinate STREET SMART Road Safety Keeping your children safe Pedestrian Safety Cycling Safety Safety in Cars Seatbelt safety What you must not do General safety in cars Driver distraction Kids in hot cars

51 - 65

Driveway safety School Bus Safety Train Safety Safety Hints Rail Crossing Safety Ferry Safety Off-road motorcycle safety Skateboards, foot scooters and rollerblades Keeping safe in crowds Dealing with strangers OUTDOOR SAFETY

64 -73

Sun Safety SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SEEK, SLIDE Beach safety Beach Safety Rip Currents Kids on boats Wear a life jacket Kids on farms Play safety Vehicle safety Playground safety Pets and children DRUG AWARENESS

72 - 75

Talking to your kids aged 15-17 Binge drinking – putting things in perspective Talking to your kids aged 9-14 Top 10 tips for parents

Publishing, ad CILTA AWARDS by Associated Produced, published and distributed on behalf of NSW Police Legacy by: Associated Media Group Pty Ltd 33-35 Atchison Street St Leonards NSW 2065 T: 02 8416 5294 www.amgroup.net.au Special thanks to: NSW Police Force Fire & Rescue NSW NSW Education & Communities eSafety Commissioner SES NSW NSW Health To support future editions of this handbook T: 02 8416 5294 E: cshb@amgroup.net.au Copyright © NSW Police Legacy Ltd - Dec 2013

Summer Edition - 2017/18 DISCLAIMER: This publication is issued on terms and understanding that: (a) the publisher, NSW Police Legacy, authors and editors are not responsible for the results of any action taken or advice followed or for any error in or omission from any information printed in this publication; and (b) the publisher, NSW Police Legacy, authors and editors expressly disclaim all and any liability and responsibility to any person, whether a purchaser or reader of this publication or not, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication.



SAFETY AT SCHOOL BULLYING Your child has the right to feel welcome and safe at school. We’re working hard to make sure our school communities are nurturing and supportive places where all students can learn and develop into caring, resilient and confident adults. WHAT IS BULLYING? It may seem obvious what bullying is, but there is a difference between students ‘not getting on’ and bullying each other. Learning how to resolve conflict and negotiate with people who have



different personalities and opinions are important life skills that parents and schools need to help students develop. Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological behaviour that is harmful and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons. Cyberbullying refers to bullying through information and communication technologies. Bullying can involve humiliation, domination, intimidation, victimisation and all forms of harassment including that based on sex, race,

disability, homosexuality or transgender. Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long term effects on those involved including bystanders. Bullying can come in many forms for example: • Being hit, tripped, kicked, pinched etc. • Being called names, teased, put down etc. • Being threatened, stalked, gestures etc. • Being ignored, having rumours spread about you, excluding someone etc. • Insulting someone in chat


rooms, sending cruel or threatening emails/text messages; using the web, chat rooms or mobile phones to spread rumours or threaten someone or information about someone etc. All forms of bullying between students are taken seriously by NSW public schools. However, any school situation that is causing your child concern, whether or not it fits the definition of bullying, should be reported to the school. Although the term “bullying” has a specific meaning and a school’s Anti-bullying Plan sets out the processes for preventing and responding to student bullying, schools also have a range of policies and practices, including welfare and discipline policies that apply to student behaviour generally. What can I do if my child is being bullied? If your child is being bullied it is not always easy for you as a parent to know when and how to support. The first step is to stay calm and try and get all the facts. While it may be a case of bullying, it might also simply be the result of poor communication by one or both

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED? Some of the signs that a child is bullied may include: • unwillingness or refusal to go to school • not doing well at school • becoming withdrawn • being tearful • loss of confidence • sleeping problems • refusing to talk about what’s wrong If your child seems depressed, unusually upset or physically injured in some way and is unwilling to discuss it with you, consider talking to your school counsellor or your family doctor. Your child may benefit from specialised assistance.

children. Kids often speak before they think and misunderstandings happen easily, especially online. By taking the time to understand the situation and remaining calm, you are helping your child. Sometimes, as a first step, your child may just want some advice about things they could do the try to manage the situation. At other times it is important that action is taken immediately. It is important to: • Listen calmly to your child. • Show concern and support. • Let your child know that telling you about the bullying was the right thing to do. • Find out where and when it has been happening, who has been involved and if anyone else has seen it. • Discuss the things your child has already done to try to solve the problem and suggest other things your child might try. • Report the situation to your child’s school. • Work with your child’s school to solve the problem. • Encourage your child to report any further bullying incidents to a teacher they trust at the school. • Let your child know how much you disapprove of bullying and why. Technology has increased the ways bullying can happen. Mobile phones, emails, websites, chat rooms, social networking sites or instant messaging can all be used to bully others. If you believe your child is being cyberbullied, don’t ban them from the technology. Technology has an increasingly important role for young people both for their social development and in their learning. Discourage them from rereading the upsetting messages or comments because it compounds the hurt and throws the whole incident out of perspective. Do try to find ways for them to enjoy themselves away from the computer, doing the things that make them feel good about themselves.

Children often worry about being labelled “a dobber” and beg parents not to tell the school. However, bullying is a serious matter which is unlikely to be resolved if it’s ignored. Schools are able to manage the situation and provide effective support when they have all the facts. As a parent or caregiver, you have an important part to play in helping your child, and the school deal with bullying. Don’t approach the other students involved. No parent will appreciate you reprimanding their child and it will always make the situation much worse than if you remain calm and go through the right channels by contacting the school. Your school’s Anti-bullying Plan will outline how bullying can be reported at your school, but you can always make an appointment with your school principal. You may like to take your partner or a friend with you to the meeting, and that’s normally fine too. Just let the principal know. If you need an interpreter, the school can arrange that. Be sure to tell them when you make the appointment. What if my child has witnessed bullying? Tell the school. Bullying also hurts other students as well as the student who has experienced the bullying. Bystanders who observe bullying or are pressured to join in are also likely to be affected and will need support. It’s important for all children to understand that bullying isn’t okay, even if they are not directly involved. If your child has witnessed bullying you can help them, and help to keep other children safe by encouraging them to ask a teacher for help. This is very important if anyone’s safety is in jeopardy. Students should always think about their own safety and the safety of other people when deciding what to do.



Helping kids thrive in today’s world of technology Optus is committed to helping young people become empowered and responsible digital citizens. Our fun, interactive Digital Education programs provide students with the knowledge and capability to deal with issues in a positive and proactive way.

Free digital safety program for primary schools Your school can learn about digital citizenship and healthy online behaviours with Kids Helpline @ School Digital. Trained Kids Helpline counsellors facilitate classes using telephone and video conferencing technology. Thanks to Optus, the program is free for schools Australia wide. Book a session for your school today. kidshelpline.com.au/school school@kidshelp.com.au

How Digitally Intelligent is your child?

For more information on Optus’ Digital Citizenship partners and resources including high school programs, please visit:

Digital Intelligence (DQ) is the sum of technical, mental and social skills needed to thrive in the digital economy. For children to be ‘future-ready’, it’s critical they develop these essential DQ skills at the start of their digital lives.


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You could also encourage your child to do any one or a combination of the following depending on the circumstances: • Tell the person doing the bullying that what they are doing is bullying. • Tell the person doing the bullying to stop. • Refuse to join in with the bullying. • Tell other bystanders not to encourage the person doing the bullying. • Support the person who is being bullied. • Encourage the person being bullied to tell their parents or a teacher. What if I think my child is displaying bullying behaviour? Discovering that your child has been displaying bullying behaviour can come as a huge shock for parents. Your first reaction may be defensive. However, children who engage in bullying behaviour also need support to learn how to behave appropriately. Stay calm and discuss the issue with the principal of your child’s school. Work together with the school to make it clear to your child that bullying isn’t okay and to develop support strategies for your child. It may also be useful to make an appointment with the school counsellor. Help your child be resilient Kids can sometimes focus on what’s going wrong in their lives, and be less aware of the other friends, hobbies, sports and activities they enjoy. A few hours with friends can remind your child that there are good people around who care for and support them. Beyond bullying Sometimes bullying or cyberbullying can involve criminal behaviour such as violence, threats, intimidation or inciting violence. If you or your child has received threats of physical or sexual violence or has been physically attacked you should immediately consider con-

tacting your local police as well as your school for assistance. The school may report a matter to the police as well. What will my school have in place to deal with bullying? Parents and schools work together to help students develop good citizenship and the communication and relationship skills that help prevent bullying behaviour. At school your child will be learning about their rights and responsibilities and will be supported to develop the skills to treat others with respect, communicate their ideas and feelings appropriately and deal with conflict. The NSW Department of Education requires all NSW government schools to have an Anti-bullying Plan that complies with the Bullying: Preventing & Responding to Student Bullying in Schools Policy. You can ask for a copy of your school’s Plan from your school. Many schools also make their Anti-bullying Plan available on their websites. The school’s Anti-bullying Plan will explain what is considered to be bullying behaviour and how that behaviour is viewed by the school. It will outline what responsibilities schools, students and parents have to prevent and respond to bullying behaviour, how bullying can be reported and

what will happen when it is. Your school will take action when it has been reported that a student has been bullied by another student at school or during a school activity that is held away from school. The school can also take action in response to bullying behaviour between students outside of school hours or off the school premises where there is a clear and close connection between the school and the conduct of the students. The response of the school to a reported incident of bullying or cyberbullying will depend on the details of the particular incident and may range from support to disciplinary action. Remember the school will need time to investigate and to talk to teachers and other students. All NSW public schools have access to school counsellors who can help children deal with problems and become more resilient. School counsellors are experienced teachers who have a degree in psychology and graduate qualifications in school counselling. They can help students who are feeling sad or anxious, or are having difficulties in their relationships with other students. School counsellors may work across more than one school, so you will need to speak with the principal to organise an appointment for your child.

Learn more about bullying

Watch a video on bullying

Download more information about bullying

CONTACTS PARENT LINE Parent Line is a telephone counselling, information and referral service for parents of children ages 0 to 18, who live in New South Wales. Parents, grandparents and carers anywhere in the state can call Parent Line on 1300 1300 52 for no more than the cost of a local call. www.parentline.org.au KIDS HELPLINE Tel 1800 55 1800 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for advice on child health and parenting. www.kidshelpline.com.au



PERSONAL SAFETY CHILD PROTECTION WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE? There are four different types of child abuse: • physical abuse • sexual abuse • psychological harm • neglect Child abuse can be a single incident, or can be a number of different incidents that take place over time. Under the Child and Young Person’s (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Care Act), it does not matter how much a child is harmed, but whether a child: • has suffered harm, is suffering harm, or is at risk of suffering harm • does not have a parent able and willing to protect them from harm Under section 9 of the Care Act, harm is defined as any detrimental effect of a significant nature on the child’s physical, psychological or emotional wellbeing. For harm to be significant, the detrimental effect on a child’s wellbeing must be substantial or serious, more than transitory and must be demonstrable in the child’s presentation, functioning or behaviour.

PARENTS What can I do? Protecting children and young people from harm is everyone’s business. Children and young people will only be protected from abuse and neglect if responsible adults take action on their behalf. Reporting your concerns about a child or young person’s safety or well being is the first step in preventing or stopping the abuse and protecting children from further harm. Your report will be totally confidential – we won’t tell anyone who reported the abuse or neglect to us and you don’t have to tell us your name if you don’t want to. 12


You can make a report by phoning the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 for the cost of a local call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What will Family and Community Services do? By law, Family and Community Services (FACS) must assess reports where a child or young person is or may be at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect. When you report to us, our staff will ask you questions to help them find out about the risk of significant harm to the child or young person involved. What happens next depends on the information received by FACS. The matter might be closed as no risk of significant harm is indicated or we may ask a local Community Services Centre to make a further assessment. Sometimes the child or young person and their family are visited immediately because the information indicates the child or young person is in immediate danger. We may need to talk to other people to find out about the family’s circumstances. For example, we might contact the child or young person’s teacher, child care worker or relatives. The law allows FACS to exchange information that relates to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or young person with a range of agencies, including NSW Police, NSW Health or the Department of Education. If the child or young person is at risk of significant harm, we try to work with the family, other agencies and professionals to make sure they are safe. If we think a child or young person is in immediate danger, we will move them to a safe place. We involve the child or young person and their family as much as possible in decisions that affect them.

What if a report is made about me or a child in my care? Parents and carers are responsible for the safety and welfare of children or young people in their care. Where this does not occur, or is not possible, FACS becomes responsible for ensuring that children and young people are safe from abuse and neglect. This means FACS must respond when someone tells us they think a child or young person has been significantly harmed or injured, or is currently at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect. If FACS receives a report about a child or young person in your care, a FACS caseworker may contact you by telephone or a visit to your home to talk with you and other family members. Caseworkers are trained to assess the family situation and its effect on children, young people and parents. The knowledge you have about your family is very important and the caseworker will work closely with you and other family members to ensure that relevant information is used in the assessment and that your family’s circumstances are fully considered.


HOW DO I KNOW IF A CHILD OR YOUNG PERSON IS BEING ABUSED? There are common physical and behavioural signs that may indicate abuse or neglect. The presence of one of these signs does not necessarily mean abuse or neglect. Other things need to be considered, such as the circumstances of the child, young person or family. When considering if a child or young person has been abused or neglected, or is at risk of this, it is important to keep in mind the life circumstances of the child, young person and their family. The following risk factors (either singularly or in combination) are associated with increased risk of harm for children and young people: • social or geographic isolation of the child, young person or family, including lack of access to extended family • previous abuse or neglect of a brother or sister • family history of violence including domestic violence • physical or mental health issues for the parent or caregiver which affects their ability to care for the child or young person in their care • the parent or caregivers’ abuse of alcohol or other drugs which affects their ability to care for the child or young person in their care The signs below are only possible signs of abuse and neglect. The presence of these signs does not necessarily mean abuse and neglect has been, or is, occurring. The child or young person’s circumstances and their age or other vulnerabilities, for example disability or chronic illness, also need to be taken into consideration. If you have concerns then you should report them to the Child Protection Helpline.

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF NEGLECT Signs in children or young people: • low weight for age and/or failure to thrive and develop • untreated physical problems e.g. sores, serious nappy rash and urine scalds, significant dental decay • poor standards of hygiene i.e. child or young person consistently unwashed • poor complexion and hair texture • child not adequately supervised for their age • scavenging or stealing food and focus on basic survival • extended stays at school, public places, other homes • longs for or indiscriminately seeks adult affection • rocking, sucking, head-banging • poor school attendance Signs in parents or caregivers: • unable or unwilling to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical attention, safe home conditions • leaving the child without appropriate supervision • abandons the child or young person • withholding physical contact or stimulation for prolonged periods • unable or unwilling to provide psychological nurturing • has limited understanding of the child or young person’s needs • has unrealistic expectations of the child or young person PHYSICAL ABUSE Signs in children or young people • bruising to face, head or neck, other bruising and marks which may show the shape of the object that caused it eg belt buckle, hand print • lacerations and welts • drowsiness, vomiting, fits or pooling of blood in the eyes, which may suggest head injury • adult bite marks and scratches

• fractures of bones, especially in children under three years old • dislocations, sprains, twisting • burns and scalds (including cigarette burns) • multiple injuries or bruises • explanation of injury offered by the child or young person is not consistent with their injury • abdominal pain caused by ruptured internal organs, without a history of major trauma • swallowing of poisonous substances, alcohol or other harmful drugs • general indicators of female genital mutilation eg having a ‘special operation’

Learn more about Child Abuse

Download more information about Child Abuse and Neglect

Signs in parents or caregivers: • frequent visits with the child or young person in their care to health or other services with unexplained or suspicious injuries, swallowing of non-food substances or with internal complaints • explanation of injury offered by the parent is not consistent with the injury • family history of violence • history of their own maltreatment as a child • fears injuring the child or young person in their care • uses excessive discipline SEXUAL ABUSE Signs in children or young people: • bruising or bleeding in the genital area • sexually transmitted diseases • bruising to breasts, buttocks, lower abdomen or thighs • child or young person or their friend telling you about it, directly or indirectly • describing sexual acts • sexual knowledge or behaviour inappropriate for the child’s age • going to bed fully clothed • regressive behaviour e.g. sudden return to bed-wetting or soiling • self-destructive behaviour e.g. drug dependency, suicide attempts, self-mutilation • child being in contact with a known or suspected paedophile www.childsafetyhub.com.au



• anorexia or over-eating • adolescent pregnancy • unexplained accumulation of money and gifts • persistent running away from home • risk taking behaviours - self harm, suicide attempts Signs in parents or caregivers: • exposing a child or young person to prostitution or pornography or using a child for pornographic purposes • intentional exposure of a child to sexual behaviour of others • previous conviction or suspicion of child sexual abuse • coercing a child or young person to engage in sexual behaviour with other children • verbal threats of sexual abuse • denial of adolescent’s pregnancy by family PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM All types of abuse and neglect harm children psychologically, but the term ‘psychological harm’ or ‘emotional abuse’ applies to behaviour which damages the confidence and self esteem of a child or young person, resulting in serious emotional deprivation or trauma. Signs in children or young people: • constant feelings of worthlessness about life and themselves • unable to value others • lack of trust in people • lack of people skills necessary for daily functioning • extreme attention-seeking behaviour • is obsessively eager to please or obey adults • takes extreme risks, is markedly disruptive, bullying or aggressive • is highly self critical, depressed or anxious • suicide threats or attempts • persistent running away from home Signs in parents or caregivers: • constant criticism, belittling, teasing of a child or young person, or ignoring or withholding 14


praise and attention • excessive or unreasonable demands • persistent hostility and severe verbal abuse, rejection and scapegoating • belief that a particular child or young person in their care is bad or ‘evil’ • using inappropriate physical or social isolation as punishment • domestic violence Remember, the above are only possible signs of abuse and neglect. The presence of these signs does not necessarily mean abuse and neglect has been, or is, occurring. If you have concerns you should report them by calling the Child Protection Help line on 132 111. MANDATORY REPORTERS What is mandatory reporting? Mandatory reporting is the legislative requirement for selected classes of people to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities. In NSW, mandatory reporting is regulated by the Children and Young Person’s (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Care Act). Who are mandatory reporters? Mandatory reporters are people who deliver the following services, wholly or partly, to children as part of their paid or professional work: • Health care (e.g. registered medical practitioners, specialists, general practice nurses, midwifes, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, dentists and other allied health professionals working in sole practice or in public or private health practices) Welfare (e.g. psychologists, social workers, caseworkers and youth workers) • Education (e.g. teachers, counsellors, principals) • Children’s services (e.g. child care workers, family day carers and home-based carers) • Residential services (e.g. refuge workers) • Law enforcement (e.g. police).

HOW DO I MAKE A REPORT? If you are a mandatory reporter, you can make non-imminent suspected risk of significant harm reports to the Child Protection Helpline either by using eReporting or by phone. All urgent reports must be made by phone to the Helpline on 132 111. If you are a mandatory reporter employed in a government agency that has a Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) you can call your CWU for help in identifying whether a case meets the statutory threshold of risk of significant harm. If you are a mandatory reporter employed by a non-government organisation or a government agency without a CWU you can report matters, where you believe a child is at risk of significant harm, to the Child Protection Helpline. You are encouraged to use eReporting and the Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) on the Childstory Reporter website before making a report to the Helpline. eReporting and the MRG can be found at Childstory Reporter at: reporter.childstory. nsw.gov.au. The MRG supports mandatory reporters to: • determine whether a report to the Child Protection Helpline is needed for concerns about possible abuse or neglect of a child (including unborn) or young person • identify alternative ways to support vulnerable children, young people and their families where a mandatory reporter’s response is better served outside the statutory child protection system RESPONDING TO AND REPORTING RISK OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT The quick guide on the opposite page will assist you in using the MRG when responding to and reporting risk of abuse and neglect. The MRG is online at: reporter.childstory.nsw.gov.au


QUICK GUIDE TO USING THE MANDATORY REPORTING GUIDE STEP 1 – GET SUFFICIENT INFORMATION Get essential details to enter into the online MRG: • child or young person’s details (name, address, DOB, details of siblings) • incident details (date, type of risk, person’s causing or contributing to harm) • impact of the incident on the child or young person • Network of support around the young person You can get this information by: • engaging with the child or young person and related services (e.g. Patchwork NSW will enable you to quickly and easily view and connect with other professionals) • exchanging information with other prescribed bodies working with the child or young person and their family. You are permitted to do this under Chapter 16A of the Care Act STEP 2 – DECIDE WHAT TO DO Use all of the information available to you to appraise the risk, needs and strengths of the family. If you work for the Department of Education, NSW Police Force, NSW Health (includes all registered medical practitioner or general practice nurse, all employees of NSW health services, staff from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service, and Affiliated Health Organisations), you can contact your Child Wellbeing Unit (CWU) for assistance with this appraisal. STEP 3 – USE THE MRG • If the outcome of the MRG is ‘Immediate Report to the Child Protection Helpline’ or ‘Report to the Child Protection Helpline’, contact the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111 and have ready the essential details from Step 1 & the outcome of the MRG. You can also make an

eReport for non-immediate matters at: https://kidsreport. facs.nsw.gov.au. • If the outcome of the MRG is ‘Contact your CWU’ or ‘Continue to monitor and support’ – go to Step 4. • Even if a report is required, proceed to Step 4. • It is recommended that mandatory reporters complete the MRG on each occasion they have risk concerns, regardless of their level of experience or expertise. Each circumstance is different and every child and young person is unique STEP 4 – FIND LOCAL HELP Your services Consider what additional steps your service can take, including: • whether your service is best placed to discuss your concerns with the family • whether your service can offer to provide additional interventions or change your current interventions to further address risk factors

Beyond your service Explore appropriate support services for the child/young person and their family. Any of the following options can assist you: • Where you have access, call your CWU to discuss how you can appropriately assist the child within the capacity of your role and to get advice about referral pathways. Call Health CWU on 1300 480 420 or call Education CWU on 9269 9400 • Contact your local Family Referral Service (www.familyreferralservice.com.au) if you would like help referring the family, child or young person to local support services such as housing or respite • Visit the Human Services Network (www.hsnet.nsw.gov.au) website to self-access a broad range of services • Contact NSW Family Services Inc. (www.fams.asn.au) to access support to nongovernment, not-for-profit organisation staff working with vulnerable children and families

Download more information about Mandatory Reporting



SAFETY AT HOME HOME ALONE There is no particular age at which children can be safely left at home alone. As parents, we decide that based on our child’s maturity and our own individual circumstances. Start with giving them short periods of time alone at home and gradually increase the duration, ensuring your child knows how to contact you or another responsible nearby adult in case of an emergency. Here’s how you can help prepare and keep them safe:

ANSWERING THE PHONE Tips for parents: • Installing an answering machine enables your children to hear who is calling and then decide to answer or not. • If you or your child receives obscene or threatening phone calls, hang up immediately, notify your local police and the phone company. Tips for children: • Always say to the person calling “My parents can’t come to the

phone. Can I take a message?” • Never say your parents aren’t home to anyone who calls, comes to the door, or you chat with online. • Never tell your address to the person calling or contacting you online. • Never answer the phone by saying your first name or last name. • If the person calling asks for you by name, say “Who would you like to speak to?”. • If the person calling asks you “What number is this?” say to them “What number were you

trying to call?”. • You don’t have to speak to anyone or tell them anything. • If someone says something rude or threatening to you, hang up immediately and contact your parents.

ANSWERING THE DOOR Tips for parents: • Install a lockable screen door and a peephole in the front door. • If it is night, leave the outside light on.

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• Ensure all emergency numbers, including a reliable relative’s or friend’s, are listed by the phone. • Practise ‘pretend-dialing’ emergency numbers from your list, with your child. Rehearse what they should say.

Tips for children: • Keep the screen door locked. • Always ask “Who is it?” before answering the door. • Always look through the peephole before answering the door – if it’s a stranger, or someone you don’t trust, you can pretend you are not at home. • If you do not know the person

or if it is a person you do not trust, do not let them in. If they do not leave, call the police and call a neighbour or a trusted nearby adult. • Make sure you know where all the emergency numbers are kept near the phone and practise pretending to dial them.

PARENT’S GUIDE TO ONLINE SAFETY With the aim to help guide children and young people toward safe, enjoyable experiences online, the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner (the Office) hopes to encourage behavioural change—where Australian children and young people act responsibly online—just as they would offline. To achieve this, we hope to both educate and help prevent harmful online behaviour from occurring in the first place. As parents, you know your child better than anyone, and have the best opportunity to help educate them so they can explore, safely.

Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically. Cyberbullying behaviour may include: • abusive texts and emails • hurtful messages, images or videos • imitating others online • excluding others online • humiliating others online • nasty online gossip and chat. By reporting it, talking about it and supporting each other, we can stop it. For many children and teenagers, their online life is an important part of their social identity. They can’t just ‘switch it off’. Many young people do not report cyberbullying to their parents as they fear that they might lose access to their devices and the internet. Young people may also be concerned that parents’ actions will make cyberbullying issues worse, so it is important for you to remain calm and supportive.

TROLLING Trolling is when a user intentionally causes distress by posting inflammatory comments online.

• Trolling differs from cyberbullying in that trolls aim to gain attention and power through disruption of conversation by encouraging a defensive reaction from those they attack. Cyberbullying usually focuses less on the reaction of the victim, and more on the feelings and authority of the bully. Cyberbullying is usually repeated behaviour, while trolling can be one-off. What can I do? As a parent, you can help your child and encourage them to take control of the issue. Talk to them about cyberbullying before it happens. Together you should work out strategies to address any potential issues and reassure your child that you will be there to support them. • Report the cyberbullying material to the social media service where it happened. Social media services should remove cyberbullying material that has been reported and is in breach of their terms and conditions. Most social media services have a reporting area on their website. The Office website also provides information about how to report material on various services. • Collect details of the cyberbullying material. You might need to do this before you report it to




Report the cyberbullying material to the social media service


Collect evidence - copy URLs or take screenshots of the material

If the content is not removed within 48 hours


Report it to esafety.gov.au/reportcyberbullying

4 OCESC001.1509


Block the person and talk to someone you trust

If you are in immediate danger, call 000 (triple zero) If you need to talk to someone, visit kidshelpline.com.au or call them on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day 7 days a week

the site. A simple way to collect this information is by taking a photo or screenshot or copying the URL. If you submit a complaint to the Office about cyberbullying material, you need to provide this information. Report cyberbullying to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

Learn more about Cyberbullying




The NSW Government manages a system of background checks for people working with children called the Working With Children Check (WWCC). No one can work with kids until they have been checked. Anyone who works face-to-face with your child must have a Working With Children Check clearance. Once the WWCC is completed, an applicant is given a clearance or bar. A clearance means they can work with children. A bar means they cannot work with kids. Parents can now go online to verify a clearance. This means that parents can ‘check the Check’ by verifying a Working with Children clearance online. GO ONLINE TO VERIFY THE CHECK The NSW Children’s Guardian, Ms Janet Schorer explains “The online Working With Children Check lets parents verify on the spot if a person has been convicted of any offense related to children.” “It’s as simple as obtaining the provider’s WWCC number and

going to the Children’s Guardian website www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov. au/check” “However, it’s important to remember that the Working With Children Check is only the first step. It’s one tool of many that is needed to keep children safe.” Ms Schorer said. Once a person has passed the Check, the organisation engaging the person still needs to assess if they are suitable to work with children and continue to monitor their behaviour. IS IT A CHILD SAFE ORGANISATION? This is why the Children’s Guardian is also encouraging parents to look out for organisations that adopt child safe practices. “Child safe organisations adopt a risk management approach, and involve kids in their work. Listening to children, investigating complaints, good recruitment practices, codes of conduct and effective supervision are all important for keeping children safe,” Ms Schorer explained. A child-safe organisation will

proactively take steps to help keep children safe from physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Before choosing an activity or service for your child, parents should find out what they do to help protect kids. Parents can also ask about an organisation’s recruitment processes, supervision practices and if they have up to date child safe policies in place. PARENTS ARE THE KEY Parents can also play an integral role in assessing how child safe a place is by talking to their children. It starts by asking the right questions. Little things like regularly talking about your child’s day lets them know you are interested in what they do. This helps kids feel safe so they can tell you how things are going or if they have any worries. Children respond well to adults who listen and make them feel important. Sometimes it’s in these moments that parents can best gauge whether the service is right for their child. For more information go to www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/ check

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• Block the person. We recommend that you help your child block or unfriend the person upsetting them, so they cannot continue to upset them whilethe material is being removed. • Remember that if your child has been involved in cyberbullying, and seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour or mood, it may be advisable to seek professional support through Kids Helpline. Kids Helpline is a free and confidential online and phone counselling service for young people, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 55 1800. esafety.gov.au/ reportcyberbullying

TOO MUCH TIME ONLINE To many parents it seems as though children and young people are constantly online.

Often they seem to be engaged in more than one task at a time; for example, downloading and listening to music while studying and chatting with friends or sending messages on their mobile phones. The number of hours that children and young people spend online can vary significantly. There is no guideline for the ‘right’ amount of time for children to spend online, however, if their online activity appears to impact negatively on their behaviour or wellbeing, or that of the family, it may be time to discuss expectations and establish time limits. It’s important to remember that some of the time your children spend online may be related to their education. What can I do? • The longer you wait to address the issue, the more difficult it can be to overcome. So if you see an emerging problem arising from excessive use, act on it

right away. • Talk to your child about the concerns you have and monitor what games, apps and devices are bought or used by your child. • You may like to install a program on the device your child is using which can be adjusted to limit the amount of time an internet connection will be available on that device. • Consider implementing family agreements about the amount of time your children can spend online. A similar approach can be used to limit access to devices. • If your child seems particularly anxious or irritable, or you notice them seeming isolated from friends or other activities, there may be an underlying mental health issue. Talk to your child’s school or your GP if your concerns extend beyond screen time.

Learn how to lodge a cyberbullying complaint


HELP AND RESOURCES Check out the following support services and resources to help you keep your family safe online. The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner The Office’s website contains information and related links to support parents in keeping kids safe online. Resources include practical, action focussed advice, videos, games, support, and research-based information, and everything is free of charge. esafety.gov.au School support Many schools have detailed policies and procedures in place to help support children online, including how to manage issues like cyberbullying, sexting and other online concerns. The Department of Education policies in each state provide information for students, teachers, parents and the broader community to help raise awareness and counter the inappropriate use of technology.

For more information, contact your child’s school. Online counselling If you suspect or know that a child is being negatively impacted by things happening to them online, consider seeking professional support for them. Kids Helpline Kids Helpline service provides free, confidential online counselling for children and young people. Kids Helpline also provides young people experiencing problems online with free and private web chat counselling. kidshelpline.com.au or phone 1800 55 1800 eHeadspace eHeadspace is a confidential, free and secure space where young people aged 12 to 25 or their

family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional. eheadspace.org.au

RESOURCES Parentline Parentline provides a counselling, information and referral service for parents that operates seven days a week between 8am and 10pm. parentline.com.au or phone 1300 30 1300

Learn 7 ways parents can manage web connected devices in the home

Lifeline Lifeline provides free 24-hour crisis counselling and information about support services. lifeline.org.au or phone 13 11 14. Crime Stoppers Crimestoppers or your local police can assist with concerns about children’s personal safety. crimestoppers.com.au or phone 1800 333 000 www.childsafetyhub.com.au


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WINDOW SAFETY CHECKLIST Preventing falls out of windows is as important as learning how to use one in an em ergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the be st first step is to watch your children as they play. Nothing can sub stitute for careful supervision. Fires and falls are among the leading causes of injury and death in young children. While some falls occur from windows, it is important to realise that in the event of a fire, a window can also save a child’s life. This is why windows play a critical role in home safety. Has your family determined an emergency fireescape plan? Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it regularly. In the plan, include two avenues of escape from every room. Remember children may have to rely on a window to escape a fire. Help them learn to safely use a window under these circumstances. Do you keep windows shut when children are around? You should keep your windows

closed and locked when childrenare around. When opening windows for ventilation, open windows that children cannot reach or those with restrictors fitted. Also, set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows and/or glazed doors. Falling through the glass can be fatal or cause a serious injury. Do you leave, or have you left, windows open because you thought the insect screen provided a safeguard from a fall? Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a fall. Insect screens are designed to provide ventilation while keeping insects out; theyare not designed to, nor will they prevent a child’s fall from a window. Is there furniture placed under or near windows in your home?

Keep furniture — or anything children can climb — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid. Are your windows fitted with key locks, vent locks or dead locks? Make sure that keys to all locked or restricted windows and doors are accessible in case of emergency. Each and every window and door must be able to be opened quickly when required.

Download more Window Safety Tips

Steps for protecting ch

Take these four simple steps to ensu and curtain cords/chains are out of r particularly from children under six.

1. Check your blind and curtain cord

Check for loose or looped cords

child can reach from the floor or

on furniture. Inspect your home’s windows Immediately tie cords out of reac carefully. Are any windows in Steps for protectingaway any furniture children might children your home painted or nailed reach them. Take these four simple steps to ensure that blind shut? Do this anywhere you are staying, in and curtain cords/chains are out of reach of children, Never paint or nailparticularly from children under six. windows shut. on holiday. You should be able to open them 2. Secure your cords out of reach 1. Check your blind and curtain cords to escape in an emergency. Buy cleats or tensioning devices Check for loose or looped cords that your

cords from a hardware store or c child can reach from the floor or by climbing blind shop.

on furniture. For more information visit Use screws to fix each cleat or te Immediately tie cords out of reach and move awa.org.au in a place that is out of reach of c away any furniture children might climb on to

reach them. Never secure these devices with may fail when a load is placed on Do this anywhere you are staying, including double-sided tape or glue. on holiday.


2. Secure your cords out of reach

Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing cords from a hardware store or curtain and blind shop.

Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device

Take these four simple steps to ensure that blind and curtain cords/chains are out ofin a place that is out of reach of children. reach of Never secure these devices with materials that children, particularly from children under six. 1. Check your blind and curtain cords a Check for loose or looped cords that your child can reach from the floor or by climbing on furniture. a Immediately tie cords out of reach and move away any furniture children might climb on to reach them. a Do this anywhere you are staying, including on holiday. 2. Secure your cords out of reach a Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing cords from a hardware store or curtain and blind shop. a Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device in a place that is out of reach of children.

Never secure these devices with materials that may fail when a load is placed on them, such as double-sided tape or glue. If you cannot fix your unsafe cords and chains out of reach yourself, get a reliable tradesperson to do it for you. If you are renting your home, seek help from your landlord or agent. x

3. Choose safe blinds and curtains Buy new curtains and blinds which: a comply with the national mandatory standard a have warning labels to remind you of dangers to children a provide a way to secure cords/ chains so there are no loops or

may fail when a load is placed on them, such as double-sided tape or glue.

strands that children can reach, or operate without exposed cords/chains.


4. Keep children away from all cords/chains a Move anything a young child can sit in, stand or climb on (like cots, highchairs, beds, sofas, tables, chairs and bookshelves) away from cords/ chains—even those tied around a cleat, as your child may be able to untie them. x Do not let children play near cords/chains they can reach. x Never leave children alone in a room with cords/chains they can reach. For more information contact ACCC & BMAA

Learn more about Blind and Curtain Safety

Download more information about Blind and Curtain Safety



Vigorously Tested Unbeatable Security Protect your home with Invisi-Gard, for total peace of mind for you and your family. A lot of home security screens are just not up to it. They age and corrode in the elements and that can compromise your family’s safety. But not Invisi-Gard! Invisi-Gard is made from 316 marine grade stainless steel mesh and backed by a 15 year warranty. Using the unique, patented pressure retention and isolation method, you can rest assured that the stainless steel mesh will defy the most determined attack from both intruders and corrosion. Unlike other products on the market, Invisi-Gard does not require screws or any other mechanical fixing form, which can cause corrosion, to secure the mesh to the frame. Visit invisi.com.au to find your closest dealer

We put Invisi-Gard through tough conditions in our testing facility to ensure our products are tested to exceed Australian Standards: KNIFE SHEAR TEST Invisi-Gard successfully repels intruder attacks using stanley knives or similar bladed tools. DYNAMIC IMPACT TEST The EGP retention system allows screens to absorb over 10 times the impact energy required by Australian standards. LOCK HINGE & LEVER TEST Invisi-Gard is tested to withstand jemmy attacks from levers, such as large screwdrivers, used to apply large amounts of torque to hinges. SALT SEA SPRAY TEST Invisi-Gard systems have been tested to withstand over 2000 hours of immersion without any signs of corrosion. FIRE ATTENUATION Invisi-Gard is BAL-40 rated and protects your property from floating embers and reducing heat intensity of radiant heat flux. CYCLONIC RATED Invisi-Gard passes all Cyclonic Missile Impact Tests suffering no breakage of mesh with minor deformation. For a more indepth look at all product testing visit: invisi.com.au/product-testing/

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SECURITY SCREEN SAFETY TIPS Preventing falls out of windows is as important as learning how to use one in an em ergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the be st first step is to watch your children as they play. Nothing can sub stitute for careful supervision. Emergency escape Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember when you have security screens installed, that windows may provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. Ensure at least one window in the room has a release mechanism on the security screen. Remember that children may have to rely on a window with a security screen to escape in a fire. Some homes may have security bars, grilles or shutters covering their windows. Those windows are useless in an emergency if the devices on them do not have a functioning release mechanism. Select screens with overriding devices that can be released by an adult or ensure you have a product that has an emergency egress feature and teach the family to safely use an emergency egress device in an emergency. Ensure keys to all security door locks are readily accessible to enable escape form the home if

required. Deadlocks, if engaged, will stop you from opening the security door without a key. Keeping children in and unwanted guests out Keep your security doors closed and locked when children are around to stop them leaving the home and to impede any unwanted guests from entering the home. Check that your security products meet Australian Standards or you may not be getting the protection you thought you were. Protection from falls Keep furniture — or anything children can climb — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid. If a window is accessible by a child and the window is not restricted, ensure that tested compliant security screens are fitted to stop your child from accidentally falling through. Remember a standard flyscreen is not made to protect

your child from falling through a window. Bush fire safety Are you in a bush fire area? Check that your screens meet the local bushfire regulations and the Australian Standard. Flyscreens can burn in a bush fire and can be the cause of your home burning. Where do you get the right products? Contact your local National Security Screen Association (NSSA) member for information and guidance on the right product to use for all situations. NSSA members comply with Australian Standards and are part of an independent third party accreditation scheme subject to annual factory inspections to ensure products conform. Visit www.nssa.org.au

TOPPLING FURNITURE Why Anchor it? Small children have died or suffered serious injuries from unstable furniture. Small children can be trapped under furniture; unable to breathe or be hit/struck by falling furniture. You can prevent death or injury to small children when choosing and securing furniture in your home. There are simple ways to prevent death or serious injury to small children when choosing and securing furniture in your home by anchoring furniture. Buy Safe • Purchase low-set furniture or

furniture with sturdy, stable and broad bases. • Look for furniture that comes with safety information or equipment for anchoring it to the walls. • Test the furniture in the shop— make sure it is stable. For example, pull out the top drawers of a chest of drawers and apply a little pressure to see how stable it is; make sure the drawers do not fall out easily. Use safe • Attach, mount, bolt or otherwise secure furniture to walls and floors. • Do not put heavy items on top

shelves of bookcases. • Place televisions at the back of cabinets or secure them to the wall. • Discourage small children from climbing on furniture. • Do not put tempting items such as favourite toys on top of furniture that encourage children to climb up and reach. • Do not place unstable furniture near where children play. • Put locking devices on all drawers to prevent children opening them and using them as steps. For more information on toppling furniture, visit www.productsafety. gov.au/anchorfurniture

Learn how to anchor your furniture

Watch a video on Toppling furniture safety - anchor it and protect a child




FIRST AID BASIC FIRST AID ALLERGIC REACTIONS Signs & Symptoms • Swelling and redness of the skin. • Itchy, raised rash (live hives). • Swelling of the throat. • Wheezing and/or coughing. • Rapid, irregular pulse. • Tightness in the chest. • Headache. • Vomiting and/or abdominal pain. • Dizziness or unconsciousness. MANAGEMENT 1. Follow DRSABCD : • Check for Danger • Check for Response • Send for help • Clear the Airway • Check for Breathing • Start CPR chest compression 2. If the patient is carrying an adrenaline autoinjector, it should be used at once. Let them administer the adrenaline autoinjector themselves, or ask them if they require assistance to do so. 3. Call 000 for an ambulance. 4. Keep patient in lying or sitting position. Observe and record pulse and breathing. Unconscious If patient is unconscious, check for breathing and response, and prepare to give CPR if necessary.



WARNING Anyone having a SEVERE asthma attack needs URGENT medical treatment. Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. WHAT TO DO Unconscious patient 1. Follow DRSABCD. Conscious patient 2. Help the patient into a comfortable sitting position. Be calm and reassuring. Don’t leave the person alone. Help them to follow their action plan. 3. Give 4 puffs of a blue/grey reliever. Use a spacer if available. Shake the reliever inhaler before each puff. 4. Give 1 puff at a time with 4 breaths after each puff. 5. Wait 4 minutes. If no improvement, give 4 more puffs. 6. If the person still cannot breathe normally call for an ambulance and say that someone is having an asthma attack. 7. Keep giving 4 puffs every 4 minutes (as above) until the ambulance arrives. Where permitted under local State or Territory regulations, and if necessary use another person’s reliever inhaler, or use one from a first aid kit to assist a patient with a severe asthma attack. If someone is having difficulty breathing, but has not previously had an asthma attack, assist in giving a reliever until an ambulance arrives.

For severe external bleeding: • wear gloves, if possible, to prevent infection • do not apply a tourniquet • if an object is embedded in or protruding from a wound apply pressure either side of the wound and place pads around it before bandaging • give nothing by mouth. WHAT TO DO Unconscious casualty 1. Follow DRSABCD. Conscious casualty 1. Follow DRSABCD. 2. Lie the casualty down and remove or cut their clothing to expose the wound. 3. Apply direct pressure over the wound using a pad or your hands (use gloves if available). Instruct the casualty to do this if possible. 4. Squeeze the wound edges together if possible. 5. Raise and support the injured part above the level of the heart. Handle gently if you suspect a fracture. 6. Apply a pad over the wound if not already in place and secure by bandaging over the padded wound. 7. If bleeding is still not controlled, leave initial pad in place and apply a second pad and secure with a bandage. 8. Check circulation below wound. 9. Ensure an ambulance has been called.

POISONING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS Signs and symptoms depend on the nature of the poisons which may be ingested, inhaled, absorbed or injected into the body. • Abdominal pain • Drowsiness • Burning pains from mouth to stomach • Difficulty breathing • Tight chest • Blurred vision • Odours on breath • Change of skin colour with


blueness around the lips • Sudden collapse MANAGEMENT Unconscious patient 1. Follow DRSABCD. See chart above. 2. Ensure call for ambulance has been made—triple zero (000). 3. Call fire brigade if atmosphere contaminated with smoke or gas.


Conscious patient 1. Follow DRSABCD. See chart page 26 2. Listen to patient give reassurance but not advice. 3. Try to determine type of poison taken. 4. Call 13 11 26 for Poisons Information Centre. 5. Send any vomit, containers and/or suicide notes with patient to hospital.

WARNING DO NOT induce vomiting unless advised to do so by Poisons Information Centre. DO NOT give anything by mouth. Wash substances off mouth and face with water. Poisons Information Centre 131 126




It can be difficult to tell whether the injury is a fracture, dislocation, sprain or strain. If in doubt, always treat as a fracture.

Any child who has received any kind of burn should be taken immediately to a doctor. Severe burns can lead to shock and major infection if not treated correctly. Burns (scalds) can be caused by hot liquid, food, vapour or steam. They are among the most serious, painful and long-term injuries. Hot drinks account for about 42 per cent of all child scald injuries, hot foods and oils about 13 per cent and hot water 45 per cent.

Signs & symptoms Sprain • intense pain • restricted mobility • rapid development of swelling and bruising. Strain • sharp, sudden pain in region of the injury • loss of power • muscle tenderness. WHAT TO DO 1. Follow DRSABCD. 2. Follow the RICE management plan: • REST the patient and the injured part. • Apply ICEPACK (cold compress) wrapped in a wet cloth to the injury for 15 minutes every 2 hours for 24 hours, then for 15 minutes every 4 hours for 24 hours. • Apply COMPRESSION elastic bandage firmly to extend well beyond the injury. • ELEVATE the injured part. 3. Seek medical attention if no improvement.

CUTS & BRUISES • If the cut is severe, stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound. Use a pad made of any material until a sterile dressing is available. • Raise and support the injured limb, taking particular care if you think a bone may be broken. • Bandage the pad or dressing firmly to control bleeding until the ambulance arrives..

FIRST AID FOR CUTS If the wound is dirty, wash it in clean running water then dry it and the surrounding skin with a sterile dressing or a pad of clean non-fluffy material. Cover the cut completely with a sterile dressing held in place with a cotton bandage or adhesive plaster.

Beware the hot tap 80 per cent of all hot tap water scalds occur in the bathroom. More than a third of these accidents are caused by hot water in the bathtub, with a further third happening when the hot tap is running. In most homes, the hot water is set on about 70ºC, a temperature which poses an extreme threat to youngsters. At 70ºC it takes less than half-a-second to cause a full skin thickness scald in tender skin. At 60ºC it takes 1 second. At 55ºC it takes 30 seconds. And at 50ºC it takes five minutes before the child is scalded.The ideal maximum, safe temperature for hot tap water is 50ºC. The maximum bathing temperature for young children is 38ºC. The first thing to do in an emergency • Get the person out of the water and flood the affected skin with cool water. • Give first aid for burns and scalds (see below). Burns may also be caused by contact with flame, hot objects.

CHOKING MANAGING A CHOKING ADULT OR CHILD (OVER 1 YEAR) Signs & symptoms • Clutching the throat. • Coughing, wheezing, gagging. • Difficulty breathing, speaking, swallowing. • Making a whistling or ‘crowing’ noise or no sound at all. • Face, neck lips, ears, fingernails turning blue. MANAGEMENT 1. Encourage adult or child to relax and cough to remove object. 2. Call triple zero (000) if coughing does not remove the blockage, or if patient is an infant. 3. Bend patient well forward and give 5 back blows: with heel of hand between the shoulder blades—checking if obstruction is relieved after each back blow. 4. If unsuccessful, give 5 chest thrusts: place one hand in the middle of patient’s back for support and heel of other hand in the CPR compression position and give 5 chest thrusts, slower but sharper than compressions. Check if obstruction is relieved after each chest thrust. 5. If blockage does not clear: continue alternating 5 back blows with 5 chest thrusts until medical aid arrives. If patient becomes unconscious: • call triple zero (000) for an ambulance, • remove visible obstruction from mouth • commence CPR

PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES Resuscitation can save a life, so it’s a good idea to learn first aid. St John Ambulance, Red Cross and a number of private first aid training companies run courses which also include information on resuscitation. Workcover can provide a list of accredited companies. Make a list of emergency numbers to keep near the telephone. Below are some suggestions for Learn more first numbers to include. You can find the others in your local phone book. aid facts from St Police / Fire / Ambulance • local police • Poisons Information Centre • John Ambulance Council • Children’s Hospital, family doctor • Health Nurse • neighbours • relatives.




DRSABCD ACTION PLAN In an emergency call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance







Ensure the are is safe for yourself, others and the patient

Check for response–ask name–squeeze shoulders No response Response Make comfortable Check for injuries Monitor response

SEND for help Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance or ask another person to make the call

AIRWAY Open mouth–if foreign material present Place in recovery position Clear airway with fingers Open airway by tilting head with chin lift

BREATHING Check for breathing–look, listen, feel Not normal breathing Normal breathing Start CPR Place in recovery position Monitor breathing





Start CPR–30 chest compressions: 2 breaths Continue CPR until help arrives or patient recovers

Apply defibrillator if available and follow voice prompts


or chemicals, by electrocution, radiated heat, frozen surfaces, friction or radiation. Barbecues, gas stoves and open fires are prime hazards and they should never be left unattended. If someone is burned on the face they could also have trouble breathing, although this may not happen immediately. A person who has inhaled smoke or fumes should receive medical attention as soon as possible. The first thing to do in an emergency • If a person’s clothes catch alight, stop them moving or running around. Movement will fan the flames. Remember: stop, drop, roll, manage. • Give first aid for burns and scalds (see below).

FIRST AID FOR BURNS AND SCALDS 1. Ensure it is safe to approach the patient. 2. Extinguish burning clothing – smother it with a blanket, jacket or use water. In the case of a scald, quickly remove wet clothing from the affected area. 3. Hold the burnt area under cold running water until the skin returns to normal temperature – do this for at least 20 minutes. 4. Remove jewellery and clothing from burnt area – leave it if stuck. 5. Cover the injury with a non-adherent burns dressing – if you don’t have one, use aluminium foil, plastic wrap or a wet clean dressing. 6. Seek medical aid urgently. When to seek medical advice: In the case of a child being burned, you should always consult a doctor immediately. Extensive burns are dangerous and may be fatal. For adults, you should seek medical aid if: • The burn is deep, even if the patient feels no pain. • A superficial burn is larger than a 20-cent piece. • The burn involves the airway, face, hands or genitals. • You are unsure of the severity of the burn. For more information visit www.stjohn.org.au



Learn more about Home Pool Safety

Watch a video by Royal Life Saving Keep Watch Home Pool Safety

Download the Home Pool Safety app

Learn more about Water and Pool Safety

Did You Know? • Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children under 5 years of age • On average, over the last decade, a child under 5 years of age drowned every week in Australia • For every drowning death it is estimated that three children were admitted to hospital as a result of an immersion incident • For children under 5 years of age, home swimming pools are the most common site in which drowning occurs • Children less than one year of age most frequently drown in bathtubs • Children drown all year round RESTRICT ACCESS Fence / Gate / Maintain • Maintain your pool barrier and gate • Provide a Child Safe Play Area Creating a barrier between your child and the body of water is one of the most effective ways of preventing drowning. Pool fencing has been shown to save children from drowning. Fencing must isolate the water body (including swimming pools, spas and wading pools) from the house and should be regularly maintained with a gate that self-closes and self-latches. Any object a child could use to climb over a barrier should be removed. Pool fencing has been shown to save children from drowning Visit www.homepoolsafety.com. au for your home pool safety checklist that will help you maintain your fence and gate in good working order. A child safe play area can be created inside or outside the house and will also restrict a child’s access to water. Inside the house, doors and windows should be locked to prevent the child being able to wander away and the bathtub should be emptied immediately after use and the bathroom door kept shut.

Kids can drown without a sound! Pools are an obvious risk but children can also drown in baths, dams, rivers, creeks, garden ponds and even nappy buckets. Once a young child’s face is underwater, the child is unable to pick themselves up as their head is heavier than their bodies. Most parents and carers believe they will be able to hear if their child is drowning/ This, however, is not true as water in the airway can block any sounds being heard. Drowning is a very quick and quiet event. • Over a quarter of all drowning deaths among children Download more in backyard swimming pools occur in inflatable or information portable pools. • There are many more near drowning incidents that about Portable occur, some of which result in lifelong brain damage Pool Safety for the child. Inflatable and portable pools are a popular options for a lot of families. But, there are dangers that all pool owners should be aware of. Inflatable and portable pools are said to be more of a risk to children than pools that have been built with fences. This is because many people are not aware that these pools may need to have fences and some are not able to be emptied after use due to their size. Because of this, children have easy access to the water in the pool, placing them at a very high risk of drowning. • Only use large inflatable or portable pools if they are able to be fenced. • Fines apply if you do not have a four-side fence around inflatable and portable pools that can be filled with more than 30cm of water (the size of an average ruler).

“Active Supervision and Swimming Pool Barriers Save Lives” The home pool environment is often a place of fun and enjoyment. However, home pools are a location with a high risk of drowning, particularly for children under five years of age.

“Keep watch! Check it, Fix it!”





WATER AND POOL SAFETY FOR CHILDREN Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under the age of five. Drowning can occur quickly and quietly, without any warning noises. Whether at home, visiting family and friends or on holiday, it is important to always actively supervise your child at all times in or near water. This means a competent adult swimmer within arm’s reach of any child. The following safety checklist is designed for parents/carers who are responsible for young children. A child’s stage of growth and development can create new hazards and dangers in and around water.



Water Safety Checklist

From newborn to 12 months do you stay with and hold your baby when in the bath, shower or near any water, even if the phone or doorbell rings? From 13 months to 36 months are you within arm’s reach of children when they are in or around water? From crawler to pre-school age is there a safe play area to restrict a child’s access to water, this includes near dams, rivers, creeks, open drains, fish ponds and water tanks? Do you actively supervise your child when near beaches, dams, rivers, creeks, beaches, open drains, fish ponds and water tanks?

Pool Safety Checklist

Learn CPR by enrolling in a course and keeping your skills up to date Enrol your child in water familiarisation lessons Attend swimming classes, including adults not confident in the water Ensure your swimming pool has a fence and a self-closing, selflocking gate and complies with NSW swimming pool laws Fence portable pools as required by NSW Law and always empty and store upright when not in use Note: if you find you haven’t been able to tick any of the boxes above, this could mean your child is at risk of drowning, we recommend that you look at ways to reduce these risks to help protect your child.

Useful parent/carer resources For more information on water and pool safety for children visit the following websites Sydney Children’s Hospital Network: https://www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/about-us/campaigns-and-advocacy/our-campaigns Raising Children’s Network http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/safe_fun_with_water.html Kidsafe NSW: http://www.kidsafensw.org/water-safety/

5 Y E A R F R A M E WA R R A N T Y

Actions’ Number 1 for

Safety Bounce Fun! Available in 8’, 10’ and 12’




SAFE IN THE SUN - A REMINDER When children spend time in the backyard, they often spend time in the sun. Children need to be protected from the sun. Too much sun during childhood can cause skin cancer as they get older. The younger any sunburn occurs, the greater the risk. So, to stay safe in the sun: • Stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day, in general between 10am and 3pm • Provide good quality shade in the backyard so that children can play out of the sun. This may be a verandah, a pergola, a large leafy tree or a children’s cubby. • Children need clothing that gives them a natural protection from the sun. Hats, with a neck flap and a brim or visor, and long-sleeved shirts are good. Cottons and lycras are good sun-protective materials. • Use an SPF 30+ sunscreen on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. Mild sunscreens are often better for young children with sensitive skin. • Young babies have very sensitive skin and are best kept out of the sun until they are at least 12 months old.

TRAMPOLINES Trampolines require active supervision. Parents and carers need to implement safety measures to reduce the risk of injury. • The trampoline should comply with Australian Standard AS 4989. Look for the Australian Standard ‘tick’ • Safety pads are installed adequately to cover the frame and springs. • Netted trampolines are recommended as fall hazards have been minimised • Locate the trampoline on a flat, soft surface and secure it to the ground. • Arrange a safety zone around the trampoline of 2.5m for open trampolines and 1.5m for enclosed trampolines. • Make sure there is a clearance of 5 metres above the trampoline bed. • Do not let children access the trampoline by using chairs, ladders or planks. Safe use of trampolines: • Allow only one child at a time • Provide constant adult supervision. • Older children need firm guidelines on proper use of the trampoline and skill development. • Teach your child to jump in the


Ask for an AUSTSWIM Licensed Teacher™. ...................................................................................................


Watch your children around water. ...................................................................................................


It only takes 30 seconds for a child to drown.



At the beach always swim between the flags.



Learn basic rescue and resuscitation skills.


centre of the mat and to focus their eyes on the trampoline to help to control bounce. • Teach your child to climb on and off the trampoline rather than jumping off. • Regularly check the condition of the trampoline frame, springs and bed for tears, rust, detachment and general weakening of the structure.

SAFE BACKYARD PLAY Keep the backyard clear from rubbish and remove any trip hazards • Keep tools, equipment and chemicals locked away • Choose play equipment that has the Australian Standard ‘tick’ logo • Position play equipment in an area that is shaded, easily supervised and accessible • Ensure all play equipment and bikes are appropriate to a child’s age, size and developmental stage • Ensure play equipment is strong, sturdy and securely anchored. • Secure any ropes top and bottom so they are not slack and cannot form a noose • Play equipment should not have sharp edges, splinters or protruding parts that could pierce skin, or tangle in a child’s hair or clothing • Regularly check play equipment for wear and tear • Remove loose cords from children’s clothing so they don’t get caught in equipment • Supervise young children on and around play equipment at all times • Fence play areas off from driveways and garages/carports • Ensure pool gates are self-closing, selflocking and well maintained. Regularly inspect fence panels and gates and leave nothing nearby for a child to climb • Remove any plants that may harm or cause illness in children • Supervise animals near children at all times • Don’t leave lawn mowers and electrical equipment unattended



1. It’s the law to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home. This includes owner occupied homes, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and camper-vans or any other residential building where people sleep. 2. Fire & Rescue NSW recommends the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms, ideally hard-wired and interconnected.


3. There are different types of smoke alarms available:


• Standard battery-operated alarms. • Mains-powered smoke alarms. • Smoke alarms with ten year lithium batteries. • Strobe light and vibrating pad alarms. These are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information contact the Deaf Society of NSW on 02 8833 3600.

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Multi-Level Floor Plan

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Watch how to shop to replace your smoke alarm

For more information on smoke alarms, visit: fire.nsw.gov.au and planning.nsw.gov.au

www.childsafetyhub.com.au 7/04/2015 11:54 am



The leading cause of home fires in NSW is leaving cooking unattended.


Keep matches out of reach of children.

Never leave cooking unattended. Stay in the kitchen while cooking and turn off the stove before you leave.

Keep your oven, rangehood and grill clean and in good working order. A build-up of grease and fat can ignite in a fire.

Don’t put anything metallic in the microwave and always double-check the timer.

Turn pot handles inwards.

Avoid cooking under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


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Help us help you, by using the following caution when in an emergency:

FACT - A fire can become unsurvivable in less than three minutes.


Turn off the stove (if safe to do so) and use the lid to cover the flame.


Keep loose clothing, fabrics, tea towels, curtains and flammable items away from the stove.

There are many dangerous substances in the kitchen. Flammable materials such as aerosols, cleaning agents and cooking oils should be stored away from heat.

Use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the first few seconds of ignition if you are confident.

Never use water to put out a fat or oil fire.

Leave the kitchen, close the door and call Triple Zero ‘000’.

Learn more about Cooking & Fire Safety

Children need constant supervision to protect them from the dangers of fires, burns and scalds.



FACT – Almost half of all house fires start in the kitchen.


Practise what to do. Know your equipment. Only use a fire blanket or fire extinguisher within the first few seconds of ignition if you feel confident.

7/04/2015 11:54 am

1. Keep fire blankets accessible in the kitchen and away from the stove. 2. Take hold of the two tabs and pull the blanket from its container. 3. Hold the tabs towards yourself and protect your hands.

If you hear your smoke alarm and there’s a fire in your home:


1. Keep calm and act quickly, get everyone out as soon as possible.

4. Walk slowly towards the fire and stretch out your arms in front of you. 5. As the blanket touches the top of the stove, place it over the fire. 6. Leave the blanket over the pot for at least thirty minutes.

2. Don’t waste time investigating what’s happened or rescuing valuables.

7. If it’s safe to do so, turn off the gas/electricity at the stove or at the main supply.

3. If there is smoke, keep low where the air is clearer.

8. Call Triple Zero (000). Firefighters will attend.

4. If it’s safe to do so, close all doors on the way out to prevent fire and smoke from spreading.

NB. A fire blanket is designed to be used once only.

5. Once you get out, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building.


6. Call Triple Zero (000) from a neighbour’s or your mobile phone.


PASS - Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep


If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas/electricity at the stove or at the mains supply.


Pull out the pin and test the extinguisher. Walk slowly to within 2 to 3 metres of the fire.

Call Triple Zero (000) Firefighters will attend.

Aim at the base of the fire. Squeeze the handles together. Sweep the powder at the flames from side to side. Continue until the fire is out.


Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Locate equipment near exit door.

www.childsafetyhub.com.au FIZ0002_Collateral_Brochure_297x210mm_FA.indd 24-25

33 7/04/2015 11:55 am

BBQ Safely .....with SWAP’n’GO ®

Did you know LPG gas smells like rotten eggs? For safety, a stinky chemical is added so you know when it is leaking. If you smell rotten eggs, move straight away from the area. Then tell an adult, who can turn off the valve. For other BBQ safety tips, go to www.elgas.com.au/swapngo









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The backyard barbie The backyard barbie There should There should be be cause can be a common an in can be a common cause The backyard barbie of fires an adult adult in charge charge during summer. of a lit barbecue of a lit barbecue can be a common cause of fires during summer. Here are some pointers: times. The backyard barbieof fires during summer. at at all allThere times. The backyard barbie shouldbe be There should Here are some pointers: adultinincharge charge canabe a common cause ananadult can be common cause Here are some pointers: ofa alitlitbarbecue barbecue of of fi res during summer. of fires during summer. alltimes. times. atatall some pointers: HereHere are are some pointers:

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spaces. or in confined

After using your barbecue, remove all excess fat so it doesn’t become a fire hazard.

Check cylinder and hoses for leaks by brushing or spraying with soapy water.

Never use portable LPG cylinders indoors or in confined spaces.

Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.

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× ×


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Keep barbecues clean and ensure all gas hoses and connections are correctly fitted.

There should be an adult in charge of a lit barbecue at all times.



FIRE SAFETY LPG & GAS LPG & GAS LPG & GAS CYLINDER CYLINDER1 CYLINDER LPG LPG&&GAS GAS SAFETY 1 SAFETY CYLINDER SAFETY CYLINDER 1 1 SAFETY SAFETY Never Never use use There should be an adult in charge of a lit barbecue at all times.

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Replace cylinders if they appear damaged or rusty.

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× ×

Never use a hose that has perished or is cracked.

Ensure connect on hoses are tig with no leakage

Never check for leaks with a naked flame.

Never use a hos that has perish or is cracked.

Learn more about Barbeque Fire Safety 12


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FIZ0002_Collateral_Brochure_297x210mm_FA.indd 12-13




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with soapy water.


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7/04/2015 11:54 am


BUSH FIRE AND YOUR FAMILY A bush fire survival plan can help you make important decisions about what to do during a fire - like when to leave, what to take and what to do with animals.

GETTING READY for a bush fire is easier than you think and there are simple things you can do to protect yourself and your family this bush fire season.

www.rfs.nsw.gov.au NSW Rural Fire Service



It’s a fact. If you and your home are well prepared, you stand a better chance of surviving a bush fire. Join with everyone else in ensuring that your home and family are protected by following the Four Simple Steps to getting ready for a bush fire.

with your family what you will do if a fire happens near you.




your home and get it ready for bush fire season.

the bush fire alert levels.

information like websites and emergency details handy.

Get the easy guide to making your

bush fire survival plan at www.myfireplan.com.au DISCUSS




GET READY FOR A BUSH FIRE FOUR SIMPLE STEPS TO MAKING YOUR BUSH FIRE SURVIVAL PLAN Getting ready for a bush fire is easier than you think. By taking 20 minutes with your family to discuss what you’ll do during a fire, you could save their lives, as well as your home.




It is important to talk to your child about your family’s plans in the event of a bush fire. The Bush Fire Cooperative Research Council has released a document to assist parents in involving their children in bush fire survival planning. For more information visit: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/involveyourkids


BUSH FIRE SAFETY PACKAGE The Lil Larrikkins pack has been developed to help explain to students the dangers of bush fires and give them age appropriate actions to help them and their families better prepare and become more resilient for bush fire events.

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Research to find out where major bushfires have occurred in Australia over the last 10 to 20 years. Mark the locations on the map6 below. Colour code the map using the following key: Red = High number of bushfire events





Orange = Moderate number 2 of bushfire events


Yellow = Low number of bushfire events 7


Green = No bushfire events



Use an ‘X’ to identify local risk areas. 4

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The NSW RFS, together other national bush fire agencies, created the Lil Larikkins Bush Fire Safety Program to assist primary school teachers to educate students about bush fire. The package includes tools such as comprehensive notes and lesson plans to help empower primary school students to take stock of their surroundings and community and learn more about the unique Australian environment in which we live. To access the resources or for more information visit: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/lillarikkins

NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE VOLUNTEERS have been protecting local communities from bush and grass fires for more than 100 years. Our volunteers make a difference in their communities not just by fighting fires, but also by helping families prepare themselves and their homes for a bush fire.

The NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE can support teachers and students by presenting skills-based sessions to students, assisting in school emergency planning and working with the wider school community to be prepared for a fire event. If you would like a member of the NSW RFS to visit your school please contact your local Fire Control Centre or visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/schoolsenquiry




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STORM, FLOOD & TSUNAMI SAFETY YOUR EMERGENCY CHECKLIST Your emergency kit provides items you might need if you lose power or need to leave your home in a hurry. Your emergency kit contents: A portable radio with batteries A torch with spare batteries Learn more about Storm Safety

STORMSAFE Are you at risk? Storms can happen anywhere, at any time of the year. It is important to prepare your family and prepare your property now and stay prepared all year round. Storms are the most costly natural disaster to affect NSW. During storms it is important to protect your family and property from the major impacts such as strong winds, hail and rising water levels (flash flooding). Damaging winds can bring down trees, branches, power lines, remove roofs and blow around outdoor items, for example outdoor furniture and trampolines • Hail can injure people and damage property Heavy rainfall can cause water to: • damage exposed homes and belongings • rise rapidly, flooding homes, property and roads • drain rapidly making floodwaters, drains, and other water courses a safety hazard Damaging surf can be unsafe and flood homes and properties in coastal areas You may also be indirectly

affected by storms; access roads may be blocked or you have no power, utilities or telephone connection. Prepare for a storm NOW There are eight simple things that you can do now to prepare your home and help reduce the potential damage caused by severe storms. 1. Maintain your yard and balcony. Secure or store items that could blow around in strong winds 2. Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages 3. Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property 4. Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles 5. Check your insurance policy is current and adequate 6. Make a Home Emergency Plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency 7. Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency 8. Listen to your local radio station and other media for weather warnings

A first aid kit Candles and waterproof matches Important papers including emergency contact numbers Copies of any emergency plans A waterproof bag for valuables When leaving or evacuating your property, place into your emergency kit Medications Supplies for your baby Supplies for any other people in your care Appropriate clothing and footwear Food and drinking water

When a STORM WARNING is broadcast Servere Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued by the Bureau of Meterology to alert communities to the threat of severe weather. When a warning is issued for your area (but before the storm arrives), there area few things you can do to help protect your family ad property; • Move indors, bringing children and pets with you • Park your car under secure cover and away from trees, powerlines and drains. During a storm During a storm, there are simple things you can do to help protect your family: www.childsafetyhub.com.au



• Never enter or travel through floodwater • Stay indoors, clear of windows • Stay clear of creeks, drains, causeways, gutters, streams, fallen trees, power lines and damaged buildings • If driving, put your hazard lights on and pull over to the side of the road keeping clear of drains, causeways, streams, creeks, trees and power lines • If outdoors, seek secure shelter away from drains, causeways, streams, creeks, trees and power lines • Listen to your local radio station and other media for information, updates and advice • For emergency assistance in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500


After the storm • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice • Check your house or property for damage • Stay clear of creeks, drains, causeways, gutters, streams, fallen trees, power lines and any damaged buildings • Check to see if your neighbours need help • Do not go sightseeing as this may hinder recovery efforts or put yourself and others at risk.

FLOODSAFE Are you at risk from floods? If you live close to a creek, river, major stormwater drain or in a low-lying area, you may be at risk from flooding even if you have not experienced it personally.




Evacuation warning To prepare for possible evacuation: • Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top • Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level


• Activate your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan • Locate important papers, valuables and mementos. • Place them in your Emergency Kit • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice • Keep in contact with your neighbours • Be prepared to evacuate if advised by emergency services • Act early as roads may become congested or close Evacuation orders When you leave: • Turn off the electricity and gas at the mains before you leave and turn off and secure any gas bottles • Take your pets with you • Never enter or travel through floodwater • Keep listening to your local radio station for information, updates and advice • Follow your Home or Business FloodSafe Plan • Follow all instructions given by emergency services During a flood How do I prepare when flooding is about to happen? • Never drive, ride or walk through floodwater • Listen to your local radio station for information, updates and advice • Locate and check you Emergency Kit • Move pets and agisted animals to high ground • Stack possessions, records, stock or equipment on benches and tables, placing electrical items on top • Secure objects that are likely to float and cause damage • Relocate waste containers, chemicals and poisons well above floor level • Activate your Home FloodSafe Plan • Keep in contact with your neighbours and make sure they are aware of the Flood Warning • Be prepared to evacuate if

advised by emergency services • Act early as roads may become congested or close.


Watch. If there is no threat, a National Tsunami No Threat Bulletin will be issued. If there is a possibility of a Land Threat Tsunami emergency services may commence evacuations immediately.

What is a Tsunami? A tsunami is a series of waves generated by a number of causes including: • Vertical movement of the sea floor as the result of a large earthquake • Submarine or coastal volcanic eruptions • Meteor impacts • Coastal landslides and slumps, either land-based or submarine

People in affected areas: • Locate your Emergency Kit and add any medications, important papers, special items for babies, elderly, clothing, food and water • Locate your Emergency Plan Keep listening to your local radio station or other media for any updates and advice • Follow advice given to you by emergency services

Know your warnings You should know the warning types, warning signs, and the official warning channels that may be used, to indicate a tsunami is approaching.

ACTIONS TO TAKE WHEN A TSUNAMI WARNING IS ISSUED It is important to act early on warnings as tsunami can reach the coastline quickly and follow the advice of emergency services.

Know where to go Find the safest route to travel in the event that you might need to evacuate and identify the point at which your evacuation route may be cut In many locations, it is likely that you will need to evacuate by foot due to congestion on roads Find out where any evacuation centres could be set up in your area. If you prefer, check with friends and relatives outside the affected area to organise a place to go

Marine and Immediate Foreshore Warning • Get out of the water and move away from the immediate water’s edge of harbours, coastal estuaries, rock platforms, and beaches • Boats in harbours, estuaries and in shallow coastal water should return to shore. Secure your boat and move away from the waterfront • Vessels already at sea should stay offshore in deep water until further advised • DO NOT go to the coast to watch the tsunami • Check that your neighbours have received this advice Keep listening to your local radio station and monitor other media for updates and advice.

Know who to call • For emergency help in tsunami, call the NSW SES on 132 500 • Keep local emergency numbers handy (in your phone or wallet) • In a life-threatening emergency, call 000 (triple zero) WHEN A TSUNAMI WATCH IS ISSUED The first stage of the process for warning you about a tsunami is a ‘tsunami watch’ phase. This means that there is the potential for an identified undersea earthquake to cause a tsunami threat to Australia. If there is a threat, the Bureau will issue a National Tsunami

Learn more about Flood Safety

Learn how to be prepared for a flood

Download the floodable fact sheet

Learn more about Tsunami Safety

Download the SES app

Learn more about the SES Home Emergency Plan Checklist

For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500 Visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au For life threatening emergencies call 000. For FloodSafe, StormSafe and TsunamiSafe information and information on volunteering, call the SES on 1800 201 000




CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING WHAT IS CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH? Mental health is about the way a child thinks and feels about themselves and their world. It’s about how they handle their everyday lives, including making and keeping friends, keeping up with school work and getting along with family members. Like our physical health, there are times we feel well and happy, and times when we don’t feel so great. As children develop and grow they can experience some bumps along the way, which may influence their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED? Getting in early for mental health and wellbeing Keeping children healthy and 42


happy involves looking after their mental health as well as their physical health. Mental health is how we think or feel about ourselves and what is going on around us, and how we cope with the ups and downs of life. Good mental health helps us to form positive relationships with others, handle challenges and be able to generally enjoy life. With good mental health, children think positively about themselves and learn and achieve better results at school. Good mental health in childhood lays the foundations for positive mental health and wellbeing, now and into the future. Mental health difficulties in children Mental health difficulties affects children’s behaviour, feelings, ability to learn, social relationships, as well as their physical health and wellbeing. About half of all serious mental health problems in adulthood begin before

the age of 14 years. In Australia it is estimated that approximately one in seven children experience mental health difficulties. There are many ways that parents, carers and school staff can support children who are experiencing mental health difficulties. Some of these may be parents, carers and school staff working in partnership to come up with ways of supporting the child, attending information sessions on particular childhood mental health difficulties or getting a referral to a mental health professional. Although there are many effective supports for children experiencing mental health difficulties, many children do not receive the help they need. This can happen because families are unsure of whether their child has a difficulty, or they do not know where to go or what to do to get mental health support. Schools can be an ideal place for families to access information about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their children. Sometimes parents and carers may feel concerned about raising mental health concerns due to misunderstandings and negativity that they feel may exist about mental health difficulties. The positive way in which families and schools support each other in relation to mental health and wellbeing will help parents and carers to seek support and assistance in a timely way. RESPONDING TO CHILDREN WHO MAY BE EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH DIFFICULTIES Learning about children through observations Parents, carers and early childhood staff can support children’s mental health by being aware of possible signs of emotional and behavioural difficulties. Some of the difficulties which might be cause for concern can fall under the following five areas related to


mental health. These are the key things to observe when you are concerned about a child’s mental health: Behaviours Emotions Thoughts Learning Social relationships Many children you may be concerned about will have difficulties in more than one area as they all link and influence one another. For example, a child who is showing signs of difficulties in their behaviour may also have difficulties in managing their emotions and forming relationships. It is common for children to show difficulties in these areas during early childhood as they are developing new skills. Many behaviours that would be of concern in an older child are natural for infants and very young children. If early childhood service staff have a concern about a child, they may choose to observe them in a range of situations to get as much information as possible. It is important that some observation, discussion and reflection takes place before deciding whether there is a significant concern requiring further investigation. Parents and carers are usually the first to recognise that their children are experiencing difficulties with behaviour, emotions or thoughts. Sometimes though, these difficulties may be more noticeable at a child’s early childhood service where staff regularly observe the behaviours of a range of children every day. Observations are an excellent way of identifying children’s strengths and needs. Through observations parents, carers and staff can see what children are coping with, enjoying, finding easy, and where children might need more support. When early childhood staff observe children they are concerned about, it is important they focus on particular behaviours and get as much detail about these behaviours as

possible. By observing children you can start to learn what is part of everyday child development and what could be a mental health difficulty. Taking time to observe children doing everyday things can help us understand the meaning behind their behaviour.

Talk to your child’s school about seeing the school psychologist or counsellor The psychologist or counsellor at your child’s school can listen to your concerns and discuss options for helping your child at home and at school.

Getting help for your child If you are concerned that your child has excessive worries, fears, or feels ‘bad’ about him or herself and you are not sure how to go about getting help, try the following steps:

See your general practitioner Your doctor can explore any physical health concerns and help you decide about the need for further mental health assessment and professional support by referring you to a children’s mental health specialist if required.

Find out more Talk to teachers or others who have regular contact with your child and find out if they have concerns about your child.

REFERENCES Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007) National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results. ABS, Canberra.

Learn How mental health difficulties affect older children (primary years)

Download more information on Learn How mental health difficulties affect older children

If your problem is urgent call Lifeline 13 11 44.

What kinds of mental health difficulties do children experience? Children’s mental health difficulties are generally classified as being one of two types: ‘internalising’ and ‘externalising’. Children with internalising difficulties show behaviours that are inhibited and over-controlled. They may have a nervous or anxious temperament and be worried, fearful and/or withdrawn. Children with externalising difficulties show behaviours that are undercontrolled. They may have a more challenging temperament, shown in impulsive or reactive behaviour. Sometimes this pattern can lead to diffi culties with attention, aggression or oppositional behaviour. Externalising behaviours cause diffi culties for others as well as for the children themselves. It is not uncommon for children to show behaviours associated with both internalising and externalising patterns of behaviour. The typical features associated with each pattern are summarised below. Features associated with children’s

‘internalising’ difficulties include: • nervous/anxious temperament • excessive worrying • pessimistic thinking • withdrawn behaviour • peer relationship diffi culties (eg can be isolated). Features associated with children’s ‘externalising’difficulties include: • challenging temperament • reduced problem-solving skills • attention difficulties, hyperactivity • oppositional behaviour (eg doesn’t like to be told what to do; won’t follow rules) • aggressive behaviour. Children with ADHD often show severe externalising difficulties. Children with other serious behaviour problems also show externalising patterns of behaviour, such as persistent aggression. Children with severe internalising diffi culties may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or with depression.



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DENTAL HEALTH Tooth decay The main cause of tooth decay is an acid attack on the surfaces of the teeth. This acid is produced by bacteria which cling to the surface of the teeth in a film called dental plaque. Sweet, sticky, sugary foods encourage the plaque to make acid which causes tooth decay and bleeding gums. Cleaning teeth Children need to learn how to clean their teeth. Start off by giving your baby a small toothbrush as a toy - bath time is a good time. Start to clean your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Use a small, soft toothbrush and water. When the child is older, introduce small amounts of junior fluoride toothpaste onto the brush. Just put a small wipe of toothpaste on the brush. It is best that your child cleans their teeth the last thing before bed. It is hard for children under ten to clean their teeth properly. You will need to help at least once a day. If the bacteria have been on the teeth for a long time, the gums may bleed when brushed. This gingivitis tells you that the gums are unhealthy. To get them healthy again the gums need to be cleaned more often, even if they bleed when brushed. Tips to prevent dental disease Here are some tips to prevent decay and sore gums for children: • Avoid putting infants and young children down with a bottle. Always ensure feeding has ceased before your child goes to sleep to avoid early infant tooth decay • Drink fluoridated tap water every day. If you are not sure if your local water is fluoridated, check with your local council • Avoid eating sugary sticky foods, especially between meals • Avoid sweet drinks and juices, especially between meals • Give your child foods which make them chew • Brush twice a day - after breakfast and before bed (use a small toothbrush and a small amount of fluoridated, junior toothpaste)

• If there’s no toothbrush, rinse with water • Use dental floss daily from about 3-4 years of age • Visit your dentist regularly • Please do not put honey on dummies to get children to sleep. DENTAL EMERGENCIES Toothache If your child has a toothache or a hole in a tooth, take your child to the dentist immediately. Tooth decay can easily lead to an infection which is very painful for your child. Bleeding If your child’s gums bleed during tooth-brushing take your child to the dentist as soon as possible. This bleeding can be caused by lack of proper care for the teeth, or it may be a symptom of a medical condition. Your dentist can check this and advise you. Injury If your child falls and hurts a tooth take them to the dentist quickly. If the teeth are loose, especially the permanent teeth, they need to be replaced in the socket and splinted as soon as possible, preferably within the hour. The sooner the tooth is back in place the better its chance of survival in the long term. Do not attempt to replace a baby tooth. If a permanent tooth is knocked out 1. Take your child to the nearest dentist or hospital with the tooth/ teeth in milk or saline. 2. If unable to get your child to a dentist within one hour: • Hold the tooth by the crown • Rinse the tooth, if dirty, in milk or saline (use water as a last resort ) • Do not scrub or touch the root of tooth • Replace the tooth in the socket • Make sure that the tooth is not back to front- facial surface towards the front. You can check this against the next tooth or someone else’s front tooth. 3. Take your child to a dentist or hospital straight away so they can splint the tooth in place.

Teeth development Baby teeth can arrive in any order, although the central bottom teeth are often first. Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they’re three. Adult teeth start developing inside babies’ jawbones after birth. After a baby tooth falls out, an adult permanent tooth takes its place. Children usually start losing their baby teeth from around six years of age. From 6-12 years, children have a mixture of adult and baby teeth. The baby teeth at the back are replaced around 10-12 years of age. By this age, most children have all their adult teeth except for the third molars (wisdom teeth). The adult teeth don’t get replaced, so you have to look after them. If your child’s baby teeth came late, the adult teeth will probably be late too. If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth development, see your dentist.

Brushing Childrens Teeth: In Pictures

When adult teeth are coming through Your child might find chewing is more difficult when teeth are loose or missing, but your child still needs to eat healthy foods. It’s important to keep up your child’s teeth-brushing routine, taking extra care around the loose teeth or sensitive areas. But let loose teeth fall out on their own. If you try to pull out a tooth before it’s ready to fall out, it can snap. This can cause pain and infection. Sometimes an adult tooth will come through before the baby tooth has fallen out. If the baby tooth hasn’t fallen out within 2-3 months, see your dentist. www.childsafetyhub.com.au



HEALTHY EATING FOR CHILDREN TEACH YOUR CHILD HEALTHY HABITS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE What are the dietary Guidelines? The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need eat for health and wellbeing. They are based on scientific evidence and research. The Australian Dietary Guidelines of most relevance to children are included below:

GUIDELINE 1 To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs. • Children and adolescents should eat sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally. They should be physically active every day and their growth should be checked regularly.

GUIDELINE 2 Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day: • Plenty of vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans • Fruit • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/ or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years) And drink plenty of water.



GUIDELINE 3 Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol. a. Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks. • Replace high fat foods which contain predominately saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut palm oil with foods which contain predominately polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/ pastes and avocado. • Low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age

of 2 years. b. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt. • Read labels to choose lower sodium options among similar foods. • Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table. c. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionary, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy sports drinks.

Learn more about Dietary Guidelines

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GUIDELINE 4 Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding.

GUIDELINE 5 Care for your food; prepare and store it safely

Find out about 5 Ways to a Healthy Lifestyle


Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day. Drink plenty of water.

Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties

Vegetables and legumes/beans




Fettuccine Penne

Red kidney beans

Wheat flakes Red lentils


Red kidney beans Lentils Mixed nuts Chickpeas

Fruit Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat

Use small amounts

Only sometimes and in small amounts

Visit: www.eatforhealth.gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au



HEALTHY KIDS With good food habits and daily physical activity you will be well on your way to a healthy life. Easy to say, but sometimes not so easy to do! Our busy lifestyles can be hard on our family’s health. Rushing to and from school and work can make it hard to find time to be physically active. We can also slip into the habit of choosing unhealthy snacks and take-away foods or spending our free time watching TV or in front of the computer. What can I do? There are five simple ways for your family to lead a healthy lifestyle and get back on track: 1. Get active each day • Regular physical activity is important for the healthy growth, development and well-being of children and young people. • They should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, including vigorous activities that make them ‘huff and puff’. • Include activities that strengthen muscles and bones on at least 3 days of the week. • Parents should be good role models and have a positive attitude to being active. 2. Choose water as a drink • Water is the best way to quench your thirst – and it doesn’t come with the added sugar found in fruit juices, soft drinks and other sweetened drinks. • Reduced fat milk for children over two is a nutritious drink and a great source of calcium. • Give kids whole fruit to eat, rather than offering fruit juices that have a lot of sugar. 3. Eat more fruit and vegetables • Eating fruit and vegetables every day helps children grow and develop, boosts their vitality and can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. • Aim to eat two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day. • Have fresh fruit available as a convenient snack and try to include fruit and vegies in every meal. 4. Switch off the screen and get active • Sedentary or ‘still’ time spent watching TV, surfing online or playing computer games is linked to kids becoming overweight or obese. • Children and young people should spend no more than two hours a day on ‘small screen’ entertainment. Break up long periods of use as often as possible. • Plan a range of active indoor and outdoor games or activities for your children, as alternatives to watching TV or playing on the computer. 5. Eat fewer snacks and select healthier alternatives • Healthy snacks help children and young people meet their daily nutritional needs. • Snacks based on fruit and vegetables, reduced fat dairy products and whole grains are the healthiest choices. • Avoid snacks that are high in sugar or saturated fats – such as chips, cakes and chocolate – which can cause children to put on excess weight.



FRESH TASTES @ SCHOOL At school you learn about the kinds of foods and drinks you need everyday to stay healthy. It makes sense then that your school canteen is full of healthy food and drinks so you can put into practice what you have learnt in the classroom. Healthy food also helps your brain to work better and makes you feel more alert – just what you need to get you through the school day. Healthy food also looks and tastes great! The Fresh Tastes @ School strategy is a NSW Government initiative that supports all schools with a canteen to go healthy and fill the menu with lots of delicious healthy choices that not only taste good but are good for you. If you want to learn more about the foods that are suitable for sale in a school canteen go to the Canteen Menu Planning Guide. It explains the Red, Amber, Green food spectrum concept and provides plenty of examples of food that fit into each segment. Look for the lights at your canteen! Your canteen will have a traffic light colour chart to help you make healthier choices when buying something from the canteen. GREEN foods can be eaten everyday as part of a healthy diet, so GO right ahead. Choose and enjoy them! Green foods include: fruit, vegetables, yoghurt, sandwiches, some milks, some hot food and water. AMBER foods are not as healthy for you, so go SLOW and choose carefully. Too many of these foods could make you put on weight. Amber foods include: fruit juice, big cartons of milk and some hot foods. RED foods mean you need to STOP! They are not healthy for you and you should only have them occasionally. Red foods include: chocolates, fizzy drinks, chips, pies and sausage rolls. Remember: GREEN foods can be tasty and interesting. They also make you feel better throughout the day.


FOOD ALLERGY OR INTOLERANCE? Many people think they are allergic to a food when in fact they are intolerant. Unlike food allergies, intolerances do not involve the body’s immune system. Slower in onset and not life threatening, food intolerance symptoms include headaches, bloating, wind, nausea, mouth ulcers or hives. Symptoms that occur several hours after a food is eaten are more often as a result of an intolerance or enzyme deficiency rather than a food allergy. A food allergy is not: • The inability to digest a food • An aversion to a food (disliking a food) • Food poisoning • A reaction to a food additive Signs & Symptoms The signs and symptoms of a food allergic reaction may occur almost immediately after eating or most often within 20 minutes to 2 hours after eating. Rapid onset and development of potentially life threatening symptoms are characteristic markers of anaphylaxis. Allergic symptoms may initially appear mild or moderate but can progress very quickly. The most dangerous allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) involve the respiratory system (breathing) and/or cardiovascular system (heart and blood pressure). If you suspect a food has caused a reaction, avoid that food, talk with

your doctor and have it investigated. If you know you have a food allergy, then always avoid that specific food trigger. If you, your child or someone you care for has a reaction to any food, seek medical advice. If you are worried about a serious reaction, call an ambulance or go directly to hospital. WHAT IS ANAPHYLAXIS Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention. Anaphylaxis is a generalised allergic reaction, which often involves more than one body system (e.g. skin, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular). A severe allergic reaction usually occurs within 20 minutes of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening. Diagnosis A person who is suspected of having a food allergy should obtain a referral to see an allergy specialist for correct diagnosis, advice on preventative management and emergency treatment. Those diagnosed with severe food or insect allergy must carry emergency medication as prescribed as well as an Action Plan for Anaphylaxis signed by their doctor. Food allergic children who have a history of eczema and/ or asthma are at higher risk of severe allergic reactions.

Administration of adrenaline is first line treatment of anaphylaxis. Management & Treatment Anaphylaxis is a preventable and treatable event. Knowing the triggers is the first step in prevention. Children and caregivers need to be educated on how to avoid food allergens and/or other triggers. However, because accidental exposure is a reality, children and caregivers need to be able to recognise symptoms of an anaphylaxis and be prepared to administer adrenaline according to the individual’s Action Plan for Anaphylaxis. Research shows that fatalities more often occur away from home and are associated with either not using or a delay in the use of adrenaline. In Australia, adrenaline can be purchased on the PBS in the form of autoinjectors known as the EpiPen®. More information on prescription is available through ascia www.allergy.org.au The adrenaline autoinjectors are intramuscular injections that contain a single, pre-measured dose of adrenaline that is given for the emergency treatment of anaphylactic reactions. The devices are for use by lay people and is available in two doses, Epipen® or EpiPen® Jr. Please consult your doctor for more information on allergic reactions, accurate diagnosis and management strategies. Visit www.allergy facts.org.au or call 1300 728 000

Learn more about Food Allergies

Download more information about living with allergies

Information reproduced with the permission of allergyfacts.org.au.

Common Food Allergy signs and symptoms Mild to moderate allergic reaction

Severe allergic reaction - ANAPHYLAXIS

Hives, welts or body redness

Difficult and/or noisy breathing

Swelling of the face, lips, eyes

Swelling of the tongue

Vomiting, abdominal pain (these are signs of a severe allergic reaction/anaphylaxis in someone with severe insect allergy)

Swelling or tightness in the throat

Tingling of the mouth

Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice Wheeze or persistent cough Persistent dizziness or collapse in its place Pale and floppy (in young children) www.childsafetyhub.com.au



IMMUNISATION About Immunisation Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them in the community. Immunisation not only protects individuals, but also others in the community, by reducing the spread of disease. Immunisation is the most significant public health intervention in the last 200 years, providing a safe and efficient way to prevent the spread of many diseases that cause hospitalisation, serious ongoing health conditions and sometimes death. Since the introduction of vaccination for children in Australia in 1932, deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases have fallen by 99 per cent, despite a threefold increase in the Australian population over that period. Worldwide, it has been estimated that immunisation programmes prevent approximately three million deaths each year. Immunisation is critical for the health of children and the wider community. For immunisation to provide the greatest benefit, a sufficient number of people need to be vaccinated to halt the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause disease - a phenomenon called ‘herd immunity’. The proportion of the population that has to be immune to interrupt disease transmission differs for each vaccine preventable disease, but is around 90 per cent for most diseases. For a highly infectious disease like measles, this is up to 95 per cent of the population. This emphasises the need to stay vigilant and ensure high coverage rates are achieved, not only at the national level, but also at the local level. In Australia, immunisation coverage rates for children are high, with over 90 per cent of children fully immunised at one, two and five years of age. This high rate of immunisation helps to maintain community immunity, especially 50


for those who are too young to be immunised or those that are not able to be immunised for medical reasons. Without herd immunity, rare diseases will become common again, causing more illness and deaths. Immunisation is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your children and safeguard the health of future generations. Immunisation remains the safest and most effective way to stop the spread of many of the world’s most infectious diseases. Before the major vaccination campaigns of the 1960s and ’70s, diseases like tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis) killed thousands of young children each year. Today, deaths from these diseases are extremely rare in Australia, and the rest of the developed world.

How immunisation works Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism – the immune response – to build resistance to specific viral infections. When a person is vaccinated, their body produces an immune response in the same way their body would after exposure to a disease, but without the person suffering symptoms of the disease. When a person comes in contact with that disease in the future, their immune system will respond fast enough to prevent the person developing the disease. Immunisation protects more than just one child’s health. Vaccinating a child will reduce the opportunity for that child to pass that disease on to another – especially young babies who cannot yet been fully immunised. When levels of immunisation in

Learn more about Immunisation

Download more about Immunisation

WHEN TO VACCINATE It is important to vaccinate your child on time. So book ahead, make an appointment with your doctor or immunisation service provider and save the date to vaccinate. The NSW Immunisation Schedule recommends that children are vaccinated at the following ages: • Birth • 6 Weeks • 4 Months • 6 Months

• 12 Months • 18 Months • 4 Years


a community are sufficiently high, the risk of specific diseases can fall so low that even those who are too young or too sick to be given a vaccine will not be exposed to it. This communal or ‘herd immunity’ can save countless lives. What’s the difference between immunisation and vaccination? • Vaccination means having a vaccine. • Immunisation means both receiving a vaccine and becoming immune to a disease, as a result of being vaccinated. Most people use the terms ‘vaccination’ and ‘immunisation’ interchangeably, but their meanings are not exactly the same. The term ‘immunisation’ is used in this website, as it is most commonly used in the community. The Facts Vaccines provide the best protection if they are completed on time.

Delaying vaccination when your little one is feeling off colour is a normal response. But the truth is, even if they have a runny nose or slight cold they can still receive their shot. Timely vaccination is the best way to protect your child from serious diseases.

effects. These are usually mild and short-lasting and involve pain, swelling and redness at the injection site. Serious side effects are very rare. If you have any concerns about possible side effects, speak to your doctor or immunisation service provider.

Why Vaccinate • Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from serious disease. • By vaccinating you are protecting your child as well as the broader community. • The more people who vaccinate their children, the greater our ability to control serious vaccine preventable diseases.

Keeping records You will need to provide records of your child’s immunisations for child care, preschool and for school enrolment. Contact the Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 to obtain an Immunisation History Statement.

Side effects Vaccines are safe and effective. The benefits of immunisation far outweigh any risks. However, like other medicines, a vaccine can sometimes cause side

Where to vaccinate Vaccinations are provided by: • GPs • Aboriginal Medical Services • Some local councils • Some community health centres If you are unsure about what services are available in your area, you can contact your nearest Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055

Did you know that over 94% of all one year old NSW children are fully vaccinated?

Stop preventable diseases from your phone. The SAVE THE DATE app is an easy-to-use reminder tool to help vaccinate your family on time.

Download the SAVE THE DATE app or print a personalised schedule at: immunisation.health.nsw.gov.au



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STREET SMART ROAD SAFETY KEEPING YOUR CHILDREN SAFE Children are vulnerable road users. They are at risk in the traffic environment because of their size, their difficulty in judging speed and distance and the fact that they may behave unpredictably. More than one million children in NSW travel to and from school each day by car, bike, public transport or as a pedestrian. Each form of transport poses potential hazards. The RTA has introduced a program of 40km school zones and also funds the Road Safety Education Program in NSW schools. But this alone is not enough; you can help by following some simple safety steps and by regularly reinforcing important road safety messages with your children. PEDESTRIAN SAFETY Each year, kids, just like you and your friends are killed and injured playing near or trying to cross the road. Often they just forgot to look or are distracted by other things. HINTS FOR KIDS TO REMEMBER: • Use a pedestrian crossing where possible. Take care whenever you cross. Cars don’t always stop, even when they should. • Children aged up to 10 years old should always be supervised when near traffic. • Children aged up to 8 years old should always hold an adult’s hand when crossing the road or walking near traffic. • Always use pedestrian crossings or traffic lights to cross the road. • Cross in a group with your friends. A group or pair is more visible than a person on their own. • When crossing a road STOP, LOOK for any traffic, LISTEN for any approaching cars and WAIT until there is no sign of traffic before you cross the road. Even if


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you are crossing at a traffic light. • Cross the road completely roads are not places where you can play. • Never run out onto the road without first looking, even if it is a quiet street. • Don’t cross between parked cars - often drivers can’t see you and you can’t see them. • Always walk on the footpath. If there isn’t one, walk on the side of the road towards approaching cars not on the road. • Don’t forget to look out for cyclists who may be riding their bikes on the footpath. • At night, carry or wear something light in colour so that drivers can see you more easily. CYCLING SAFETY Riding your bike is a fun way to get around but it can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Every year more than 200 young cyclists are killed or injured. In many cases, they weren’t wearing helmets or following the road rules.



• Protect your head: When riding a bicycle you are required by law to wear an approved helmet securely fitted and fastened. In NSW there are no exemptions from wearing an approved bicycle helmet. • Children aged up to 12 years should ride their bikes on the footpath or away from the road – around 10% of child road casualties are cyclists. Older children should use the bike lane. • Be cautious when riding on the road - remember motorists can’t always see you so don’t expect them to stop for you. • Always ride your bike on the left hand side of the road, as close to the kerb as possible. • Be courteous. Drivers don’t do anything that could put yourself or other people in danger. • Like car drivers, you have to obey all traffic signs and traffic lights. • Leave at least one metre between you and the traffic. • Use hand signal to let drivers know if you’re turning or stopping.

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• Never ride your bike across a pedestrian crossing. • Do not double anyone. Let your friends walk beside your bike if necessary. • Keep your bike in control by keeping one hand on the handle bars at all times. • Be visible on the road! Wear light coloured or reflective clothing when you are riding your bike, especially at night. • Drivers will also see you more easily if your bike has a flag and reflectors on both front and rear. • If you’re riding at night, have proper front and rear lights fitted otherwise people cannot see you. • Make yourself heard on the road - check your bike has a horn or a bell. • Check your tyres and brakes regularly. You don’t want the tyre to blow out or your brakes to fail when coming down a hill. • Ride a bike that is the right size for you.

SAFETY IN CARS Seat Belt Safety: The overriding basic rule for the safety of children in cars is for every child to use the right restraint on every trip. Over the past 20 years, our road toll has dropped dramatically. Today, Australia is one of the safest countries in which to drive. There are now new national road rules for keeping children safer when travelling in the car. National Child Restraints law: • All children under seven must be secured in a child restraint or booster seat when travelling in a vehicle. • Babies up to six months of age must be restrained in a rearward facing restraint. • Children from six months to under four must be restrained in a rearward facing or forward facing restraint. Children under four years of age must not be in the front row of a vehicle with

Are you Buckled Up?

Now we ready to’re go

two or more rows. • From four years to under seven children must use a forward facing restraint or booster seat. Children over four years of age can only sit in the front row of a vehicle with two or more rows when all other seats are occupied by children of a lesser age in an approved child restraint. For detailed information on correct child restraint visit childcarseats.com.au OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER ARE: • If your child is too small for a restraint specified for their age, they should stay in their current restraint for as long as necessary. • If your child is too large for a restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of restraint • It is important to check that the restraint is properly fitted.

They’re counting on you Is your seatbelt fastened? Are the straps tight and straight? No twists!

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Are you buckled up?

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Up to 6 months

6 months to 4 years

4+ years

145cm or taller

Approved rear facing child car seat.

Approved rear or forward facing child car seat.

Approved forward facing child car seat or booster seat.

Suggested minimum height to use adult lap-sash seatbelt.

• Children must use a child restraint on every trip. • Children should always get in and out of the car using the Safety Door which is the rear kerb side door. What you must not do? • Do not carry a child on your lap. It is impossible to hold onto a child in an accident and it is illegal. • Do not put two children in one seat belt as it is not safe and is illegal; in a crash they can be injured by colliding with each other. • Do not sit a child on an adult’s lap with the seat belt around both of them. The child is likely to be crushed by the adult’s weight against the seat belt and

it is illegal. • Let children ride in the luggage space of cars. This is also illegal and very dangerous. All children must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint. GENERAL SAFETY IN THE CAR Drive carefully, take rests, take care in the heat Fasten your seat belt and make sure every-one is safely and appropriately restrained before starting the car. Many accidents are the result of driver error and fatigue. Rest stops help restore concentration, and beat drowsiness. Babies, toddlers and children lose fluid quickly so it is important when travelling on hot days, to allow extra time for stops

BUCKLE UP the • Small children don’t understand t. rain rest d chil a g usin not dangers of won’t start • Remind children that the car until everyone is buckled up. to not undo • Children should be instructed y can - when their seat belts until you say the and the you have reached your destination car is stopped. e not • Check that older children hav ts of their rain rest the one und accidentally baby brother or sister.



and to provide plenty of cool water or fluids. Never leave your child in a car for any period of time without adult supervision. Driver Distraction Don’t let your children’s behaviour distract you. Keep them occupied by talking or singing to them; provide soft toys to play with. On long trips, provide unspillable drinks, healthy snack foods; and avoid milk-based drinks for carsick-prone children. Take regular driver breaks and let the children out to run around. KIDS IN HOT CARS - WARNING Why are children at risk? The temperature inside a parked car can be more than 30 degrees hotter than outside. Children are particularly at risk because they lose fluid quickly. Dehydrated children are at risk of suffering potentially life threatening heatstroke. There are a number of situations that can lead to an incident; changes in a normal routine or the keys being accidentally locked inside can result in a child being left in a car unintentionally. Parents sometimes choose to leave their child unattended, thinking they will only be gone for a few minutes. This can easily turn into ten to fifteen minutes and because the temperature rise in a vehicle is so rapid, even a short amount of time can place them in extreme danger. REDUCE THE RISKS • Never leave a child unattended in a car

Learn more about Child Carseats

Watch a video on Hot Kids in Cars Safety

Learn more about Kids Unattended in Cars

Learn more about Driveway Safety

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5,000 Every year across Australia, approximately 5,000 children have to be rescued from cars.

30+ The temperature inside a parked car can be over 30 degrees hotter than outside.

75% of total temperature rise occurs within the first 5 minutes of parking a car.

70°C Even on a cooler day, temperatures inside a car can reach well above 70°C

4 Three quarters of children rescued from cars are aged under four years old.

• If you have to leave the car, even for a minute, always take the children with you • Create a ‘look before you leave’ routine whenever you get out of the car • Leave something in the back seat that you will need to take with you (e.g. handbag or laptop) as a reminder that you have a child with you • Remember that large cars heat up just as fast as smaller ones • Lock cars and secure keys out of reach of children to prevent children gaining access to and playing inside the car OTHER SAFETY TIPS • Check your child’s restraint harness to make sure they can’t reach and open doors while you’re driving. • Cigarette lighters can pose a risk to children so please remove them. • Use the child locks on rear doors to stop children opening them. • Do not smoke in your vehicle with children as this is illegal.

DRIVEWAY SAFETY Simple steps can make all the difference SUPERVISE When children are around driveways, they


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should be actively supervised by an adult who is holding their hand. Ensure that young children are placed securely in a vehicle before moving it.



SEPARATE Treat the driveway like a road. Do not let children use the driveway as a play area. Separate children’s play spaces from garages and driveways. Home design features can help, including fences, high handles on garage doors and self-closing doors or gates. SEE All vehicles have blind spots. While reversing sensors and cameras can assist with reducing blind spots, it can be difficult to notice a small child until it is too late. It is important not to become complacent. Drivers should get into the habit of walking around their vehicle before starting it, especially when leaving an area where a young child could be present.

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Take care when stepping on and off the train.

Skills to help keep your child safe when catching a train Teaching children how to be safe around trains is just as important as teaching them to look both ways before crossing the road. Use this 10-minute checklist the next time you and your child catch a train. The good habits they learn from you could save their life.

Track safety

Always stay off train tracks

Remember trains can’t stop suddenly or swerve

If you drop something on the tracks, never try to get it yourself. Jumping onto the tracks is very dangerous because a train might be coming. Always ask station staff for help to get it back.

A train travelling at 60km per hour (the same speed as a car on a main road) takes the length of two and a half football fields to stop! Even if a driver sees you, they may not be able to stop in time. Because they travel on tracks, they can’t swerve if something is in their path.

Level crossings

STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, THINK Be extra alert before you cross at a pedestrian level crossing: STOP behind the gate or yellow line. LOOK left and right for trains coming. LISTEN for trains – they might be closer than you think. THINK is it safe to cross? Am I holding an adult’s hand? If there is no danger, you can walk. Keep on looking left, right and ahead.

Wait for the lights and bells to finish If the pedestrian level crossing has lights or bells, never cross while they are flashing or ringing. Always wait until they finish, then STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK before you cross.

Stay behind the yellow line

Mind the gap

Hold hands and always walk

Always use a bridge, overpass or crossing Tracks are for trains only. Bridges, overpasses and pedestrian level crossings are for people. When you have to get to the other side of the tracks, always use the bridge, overpass or pedestrian level crossing to get there safely.

Platform safety

Always use the footpath Only cross at pedestrian level crossings designed for people to cross. Walk between the double yellow lines on the footpath and keep looking left, right and ahead.

When you are walking on the platform or waiting for a train, stay well back from the yellow line in case you accidentally slip or get pushed. Always walk, and wait behind the yellow line.

There is a gap between the train and platform – when you get on and off the train you could fall into the gap and get hurt. Always hold an adult’s hand and watch where you step.

The platform is not a place to run, bounce balls or play games. You can do that at the park! Always walk, and hold an adult’s hand on the platform.

How do I get help?

Ask a staff member in uniform

Press the Emergency Help Point button

If you need help or feel unsafe, ask staff on the train, station staff or police. They are there to help you.

In an emergency, look for the orange Emergency Help Point button on the train or platform and press it. When staff answer, tell them what happened – it’s just like talking on the phone. They can see you on camera and will send someone to help.

MOVE and REPORT If you ever feel unsafe: MOVE to another carriage or a safer part of the station. REPORT what you’re afraid of. Tell the adult who is with you, station staff or a police officer, or press the Emergency Help Point button. You can also call Triple Zero (000).

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SCHOOL BUS SAFETY DID YOU KNOW? Every day, more than a million NSW school children travel to and from school in safety - many of them by bus. The school bus is an extremely safe form of transport for school students. Traffic congestion outside the school can increase when many families resort to driving short distances to and from school On and off the bus safely Your child is most at risk in the minutes after getting off the bus. You can reduce this risk. Meet your child (or arrange for another trusted adult to meet your child) at the bus stop, never on the opposite side of the road. Wait until the bus has been driven away before choosing the safest place to cross the road, then follow the usual road crossing procedures with your children. STOP! One step back from the kerb. LOOK! For traffic to your right, left and right again. LISTEN! For the sounds of approaching traffic. THINK! Whether it is safe to cross. Teach your children to keep turning their head in both directions to look and listen for traffic as they cross the road.While waiting at the bus stop, stand well away from the passing traffic. Never wait right at the kerb. Remind your children that when a bus is fitted with seatbelts, they must buckle up. Until they turn ten, hold hands with your child as you cross the road.

lights on the bus flash. Flashing headlights on these buses also alert oncoming motorists that children are close by. As a driver, remember: When the lights on the bus are flashing, you must slow down to 40 km/h. Never park in or near a bus stop or bus zone. For information about fines and demerit points, visit rms.nsw.gov.au

TRAIN SAFETY SAFETY HINTS: • Keep behind the yellow lines. • Mind the Gap between the platform and train doors. • Hold onto small children when boarding and leaving the train. • Pay special attention when the platform is crowded or when travelling to large events.

PRAMS AND STROLLERS SAFETY HINTS If you are travelling with a pram or stroller, we recommend you either strap the infant into the pram/ stroller, or remove the infant from it completely to board the train. • Always keep a firm hold of your pram anywhere on stations and trains. • Always apply pram brakes when you are at the station or on the train. • Ensure your child is securely strapped into the pram. • Park the pram parallel to the edge of the platform, not pointing towards the tracks. • Board the train near the guard’s compartment so they can see you when closing the train doors. • Don’t rush – allow plenty of time for your journey. • If you require assistance, please ask Sydney Trains staff - they are there to help you.

Learn more about Bus Safety

Driving near school buses There is a 40km/h speed limit for traffic passing a school bus that is setting down or picking up school children. This speed limit is for all traffic travelling in the same direction as the bus, whether the bus is stationary or moving. The 40km/h speed limit must be obeyed when the rear wig wag www.childsafetyhub.com.au




Railway crossings

Always cross train tracks using a footbridge or underpass, or at designated pedestrian railway crossings. Crossing anywhere else is illegal and extremely dangerous. HERE’S SOME ADVICE THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE: • Stop, look, listen and think at level crossings. • Obey the safety signs at every railway crossing and cross at marked crossings only. • Stay on the path. Listen and look in both directions for approaching trains. • If the red lights are flashing or the gate is closed, a train is coming so keep clear of the tracks. • Never jump fences, gates or barriers. This is extremely dangerous and it is very likely the oncoming train is close to the crossing. • If a train is coming, wait for it to pass and then stop, look and listen again before crossing as another train may be approaching. • You might not hear a train, especially when using your earphones or mobile phone. Never assume a train is a long way off. • Don’t ride bicycles, skateboards, skates or roller-blades across any pedestrian crossing. • Never assume that it is safe to cross when the lights are still flashing. Even if a train has passed, there may be another train coming in the other direction. Only enter the crossing when the lights have stopped flashing or the gate has opened. It takes a lot to stop an eight-carriage train travelling at 100kmh. The braking distance for a train is approximately five football fields (500m). Information reproduced with permission of Transport Sydney Trains – www.sydneytrains.info 62






Left sign: Railway crossing with traffic lights ahead. Centre & right signs: Railway crossing signs.




















Left Sign: Stop before crossing. Centre sign: Stop if the red lights are flashing. Right sign: Give way at the crossing, be prepared to stop

FERRY SAFETY Catching a ferry is a great way to add fun and excitement to family outings – which makes it tempting to play on wharves and on board. Running around can be dangerous. With so much water around, it’s important to be careful. Be at the wharf at least five minutes before your ferry is due to leave so you have time to board safely, and remember that ferries are not playgrounds. SAFETY HINTS • Don’t run around on the wharf, and don’t go near the edge. Hold an adult’s hand when you get on and off. • Yellow and black stripes on wharves mean danger. Stay away from them – they are a no-go zone. • Don’t run around on board, and never climb on or over railings. It is easy to fall over, and you could even fall into

the water. • Look for the big orange Emergency Help Point on wharves. In an emergency (like someone falling into the water) press the button and talk into it like a phone. Staff can see you and talk to you, and will send someone straight away. • Tell the ferry crew if you feel like you are in trouble or need help. They are there to keep you safe. PRAMS AND STROLLERS • Small children need a helping hand to get through ticket gates. When you travel as a family, or with a pram or stroller, use the wide gates. • Keep a firm hold while you are on the wharf, and use the brakes. • Larger prams and strollers may not fit on gangways and will need to be collapsed before boarding. • If possible on board, collapse and store strollers and prams,

Learn more about Train Safety: Crossing the Tracks

Learn more about Ferry Safety


and sit your child on your lap or on the seat next to you. • If you prefer to keep your child in the pram or stroller, put the brakes on and hold it firmly at all times. Ferries are just one type of public transport in NSW you and your family can use. You can also travel on trains, buses and light rail. What they all have in common is how much they care about the safety of you and your family. Please follow any special rules they have to keep you safe.

OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLE SAFETY Off road motorcycles are 2-wheeled vehicles that require the user to shift their body weight while riding. People do not need a licence to ride them as long as they are not on public roads. Off-road motorcycles are popular for sports and recreation but also farm use as well. How may a child be injured? Injuries occur in a variety of settings (e.g. at home, on farms, in recreational areas and at Motocross competitions). Children sustain injuries from collisions, rollovers, falls and from jumps. Children may collide with objects and other riders, causing injuries to themselves and others. Loss of control is the most common cause of injury. This is because children aged less than 10 years lack hazard perception and the ability to control speed. Falls • Falls may result in severe fractures, abdominal, head and chest injuries. Cuts and bruises • Children may sustain cuts and bruises, particularly when they are not wearing full body protective clothing. Strangulation • Children may suffer strangulation if riding under a clothesline

or fence. This injury occurs during times of poor visibility or if terrain is uneven. Struck by object • Children may collide with objects and other riders, causing injury to themselves and others. • Children may be injured when the motorcycle tips over and falls on them. In NSW between 2003 and 2012 there were 13 deaths of children aged 0-17 from off-road motorcycles, otherwise know as “dirt bikes”. The likelihood of serious injuries rapidly increases when riders start doing jumps. Children injured from jumps suffer more severe injuries. Is there a Law or an Australian Standard for off-road motorcycles? Riders of motorcycles on NSW roads must be at least 16 years and nine months and obtain a rider licence by completing a training course and knowledge test. However there are no requirements to use motorcycles off-road on private property. Significant fines apply for riding off-road motorcycles on public land, which includes State Forests and National Parks.

SKATEBOARDS, FOOT SCOOTERS AND ROLLERBLADES The law A pedestrian includes “a person in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy”. This includes rollerblades, a skateboard, scooter, unicycle or similar wheeled device: • Foot scooters, skateboards and rollerblades may be ridden on footpaths unless signs specifically prohibit them, however, riders must keep to the left and give way to other pedestrians • Powered foot scooters cannot be registered and can only be

used on private land • On separated bicycle and pedestrian paths, foot scooter, skateboard and rollerblade riders must use the section designated for bicycles, but must keep out of the path of any bicycle • Foot scooters, skateboards and rollerblades can only be used on the road during daylight hours • They cannot be used on roads with a dividing line or median strip or a speed limit greater than 50km/h, or a one-way road with more than one marked lane Safety advice • On the footpath, riders of foot scooters, skateboards or rollerblades should not threaten pedestrians, especially the elderly – they may need to slow down or dismount in busy areas • To improve safety and enjoyment, foot scooters, skateboards and rollerblades are best ridden in recreational areas designated for their use • Foot scooter, skateboard and rollerblade riders should wear helmets and protective gear such as knee and elbow pads

KEEPING SAFE IN CROWDS Any parent who has had a child wander away while in a crowded place knows that having a lost child is a very scary situation. Since kids are adventurous, having a lost child is relatively normal, but thankfully there are ways to protect their safety while you are out. FOLLOWING ARE SOME TIPS ON KEEPING KIDS SAFE AND NEARBY WHILE IN A CROWD. • Take a picture on your phone before you leave the house. If you are separated from your child when you are out, a digital photo from your phone (taken the day of the event or travel) can be utilised by police to immediately get your child’s face out to other law enforcewww.childsafetyhub.com.au


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ment officials. In addition to their face, you’ll have a photo of exactly what they were wearing, as well as what they look like. Teach children to identify help if they are separated from mum or dad. While it’s easy to tell children to find help, young children may have a difficult time understanding just what “help” means. To kids, any adult might mean help, and it’s important for parents to teach children just who they should be looking for. You can do this by pointing out policemen, firemen, or security guards when you are out. Teach children to recognise store employees as well (look for name tags or someone behind the counter). All children should know their full name, address and telephone number. Try to keep your kids in sight at all times. Never send them to the bathrooms alone, even if they’re old enough to use them without help. If you are in a crowded location, establish an easy to find meeting spot just in case anyone gets separated from you. Using a safety harness is another possibility to keep toddlers from wandering away, since in most cases, they aren’t old enough to know that it is dangerous to walk away.

IF SOMEONE TRIES TO SNATCH YOUR CHILD: • Teach your children to struggle with anyone whom they don’t know, or whom they don’t trust, if they are trying to grab or force the children to go with them • Tell children to make a lot of noise if they’re scared. They have probably been told lots of times not to yell. Tell your children when they think they might be in danger, forget all of that advice! That’s the perfect time to be noisy! DEALING WITH STRANGERS When you’re walking home from

school, a person in a car pulls up and asks you for directions. At the park, someone says he needs you to help look for his lost puppy. These people may seem friendly, but no matter what they say to you, they have one thing in common: They’re strangers. Most strangers aren’t dangerous and wouldn’t do anything to hurt kids. Unfortunately, though, some strangers can be dangerous, and it’s impossible to tell who’s OK and who’s not. A dangerous person doesn’t necessarily look scary or mean — the person might look nice. THAT’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THESE BASIC SAFETY RULES ALL THE TIME: • Stick With a Friend – it’s more fun and safer to do things with friends. Take along a buddy when you walk to school, bike around the park, or go to the store. Travelling with a friend whenever you can is a good idea, and travelling with a bunch of kids is even better. • Let Grown-Ups (and Only Grown-Ups) Help Strangers – it’s nice to help people. But remember: Strangers should ask adults, not kids, for help. • If a Stranger Pulls Up in a Car

and Offers you a Ride, Don’t Get In. You probably know that rule, right? But that’s not all of it. It’s also important to avoid a stranger’s car completely. If a stranger asks you to look in the car, don’t do it. Don’t put your arm in the window to take something or point to something. Don’t agree to come closer to see a pet or to get a toy that’s offered. • If a Stranger Offers You a Toy, Some Candy, a Stuffed Animal, or Anything Else, Don’t Ever Take It. Even if it’s something you really want, if the offer is coming from a stranger, you should ignore the person and walk the other way. • Even if The Stranger Knows Your Name, Don’t Be Fooled. There are lots of ways to find out kids’ names, even when someone doesn’t know them or their families. • Trust Your Instincts – kids need to follow the rules of street smarts all the time with every stranger, even if the situation seems fine. And if your instinct is telling you something is dangerous or just not quite right, get out of the area, tell an adult, or a police officer or call 000. www.childsafetyhub.com.au






Kids love the hot weather, but before they go out in the sun, make sure you take care of their skin. Here are a few tips on how you can make the most of their time outdoors without putting them at risk.

KIDS NEED MORE SUN PROTECTION THAN ADULTS Children’s skin is delicate and more vulnerable to UV damage and sunburn. So make sure they use very high SPF products. Especially formulated for children’s delicate skin, NIVEA Sun Kids Roll-On Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ provides very high sun protection and 4-hour water resistance. Sun protection is not only about sunscreen; make sure they are wearing protective clothing, a hat and sunnies. HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN SHOULD I APPLY? Knowing how to apply sunscreen is crucial for ensuring skin is properly protected. Firstly make sure sunscreen is applied 20 minutes before going into the sun. Secondly, use approximately 7 teaspoons or 35ml for a full body application to adequately protect your body from the sun.

YOU CAN STILL BURN IN THE WATER. Sunburn is just as common in the water. So make sure your kids are slathered up with water resistant sunscreen before they go splashing about in the surf. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REAPPLY SUNSCREEN? Always apply plenty of sunscreen evenly at least 20 minutes before you go out in the sun. Reapply every 2 hours or more often if sweating, swimming or towelling off! IS A MOISTURISING SUNSCREEN IMPORTANT? Dry skin is less able to retain the moisture needed to maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier, which may make it more susceptible to harmful UV rays. Moisturising ingredients like Vitamin E help keep the protective barrier strong. All NIVEA Sun products contain moisturisers to help keep skin hydrated and protected. WATCH OUT FOR CLOUDS! You can get sunburnt even when it’s cloudy. UV rays can penetrate clouds, so even when it’s grey outside, make sure you wear sunscreen! For more information go to NIVEA.com.au

Always read the label. Use only as directed. ASMI 28195-0917



OUTDOOR SAFETY SUN SAFETY Cancer Council NSW recommends protecting your skin in five ways: 1. SLIP – on clothing that covers your arms and legs 2. SLOP – on 50+ or higher, broad-spectrum sunscreen 3. SLAP – on a broad brimmed bucket or legionnaire hat 4. SEEK – shade 5. SLIDE – on wrap-around sunglasses with Australian Standard AS/NZS 1067:2003 and have an eye protection factor of (EPF) of 10. CLOTHING (SLIP) Protective clothing, such as longsleeved shirts and loose clothing with a close weave can prevent skin damage from the sun. Some clothing is labelled with information about its ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). UPF-40 or above offers very high protection and UPF-15 and above offers good protection. SUNSCREEN (SLOP) Broad spectrum sunscreen means it protects you from both types of radiation (UVA and UVB).4 The higher the sun protection factor (SPF) number, the better it protects you against sunburn. Most people don’t use enough sunscreen, meaning they don’t get enough protection.2 Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going in the sun and then reapplied every two hours. HATS (SLAP) Choose a hat that is broadbrimmed or with a flap at the front and back (legionnaire style) so that your child’s face, ears and neck are protected. A hat made of close-weave fabric will reduce the amount of light that gets through. Baseball caps and sun visors are not recommended as they do not provide enough protection.

SHADE (SEEK) Shade is more ideal than full sun, however sunburn can still occur in partial shade or when cloudy. SUNGLASSES (SLIDE) Sunglasses can protect your child’s eyes from short and long term damage. Sunglasses designed to wrap around the eyes do this well. Always purchase sunglasses which meet the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1067:2003). Sunglasses with an eye protection factor (EPF) value of 9 or 10 protect from almost all UVR.5 Toy sunglasses are not covered by the Standard and should not be used for sun protection. Sunglasses or goggles at the snow will also help to reduce exposure from glare and reflected UVR. Remember: • A suntan is not healthy. • More care should be taken when your child is out in the sun near highly reflective surfaces such as snow or water. • Babies and children are at greater risk of heat stress than adults. • Never leave a baby or child alone in a car. If you need to leave, always take your child with you. • Remember to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide Clothing (slip) • Encourage your children to wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Sunscreen (slop) • Broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with a high SPF (50) should always be applied to children when playing outdoors. Apply generously and frequently (at least every two hours), particularly after swimming (always follow directions on sunscreen bottles).

Hats (slap) • Ensure your child always wears a hat when outdoors which covers their face, ears and neck. Shade (seek) • Limit your children’s exposure to UVR. Seek shade between 11am and 3pm (daylight saving time) when UV levels are at their highest. • Children under 12 months of age should not be exposed to direct sunlight.6 • When travelling in a car with your baby, make sure they are shaded. The sunlight which passes through the car window can burn your child’s skin.

Learn more about ways to beat the heat

Sunglasses (slide) Ensure your child wears sunglasses that meet the Australian Standards. Water and dehydration • Active children should be encouraged to drink regularly to prevent thirstiness. Regular drink breaks during activity are important. • Vigorous physical activity should be avoided in hot weather. • Seek urgent medical assistance if your child shows any signs of heat stroke. • Extra care needs to be taken with sick children or babies in hot weather. Extra fluids, such as breast milk or water, should be given to prevent the risk of dehydration. Childrens Hospital Westmead www.childsafetyhub.com.au



BEACH SAFETY Millions of people visit at least one of Australia’s beautiful beaches every year. These famous beaches are not only enjoyed by lucky Australians but also visitors from all over the world – some who come for a visit, and others who choose to make Australia their home. Although Australian beaches may look amazing, they can be unpredictable and hide some dangers that every visitor should be aware of. Here you will find some very helpful info and advice from our Lifeguards on beach safety, to ensure you enjoy your visit to the beach and stay safe! Always swim between the red and yellow flags When you see red and yellow flags on a beach, it indicates that there is currently a lifesaving service operating on that beach. The lifeguards have chosen a section of the beach that is best for swimming and they will closely supervise this area. Lifeguards pay more attention to the area between the red and yellow flags than any other part of the beach. Read the safety signs Before you go on to the beach be sure to read the safety signs. This will ensure you are aware of any warnings or dangers on the beach. You can also find other helpful information to make your day at the beach more enjoyable. You might also find single signs placed on the beach to highlight specific warnings. Ask a lifeguard for safety advice Lifeguards are highly trained and very knowledgeable about beach safety and conditions. When you arrive at the beach look for and identify the lifeguards. Feel free to ask them about the day’s conditions, as well any additional beach safety advice they might have for that specific beach – because every beach is different.



Swim with a friend Not only is swimming with a friend (or family member) a fun way to enjoy the beach, it is also very sensible. While you are swimming together you can keep an eye out for each other, and if further assistance is required, one person could call or go for help. If everyone swimming together knows their own limits it is a good idea to share this with those around you so you can all stay within everyone’s comfortable limits. If you need help, stay calm and attract attention Even the most careful people can find themselves out of their limits in the water. If you are not feeling comfortable in the water and you require a lifeguard’s assistance to get back to shore, stay calm, raise your arm in the air and wave it from side to side. This will attract the attention of a lifeguard who will be able to come to your assistance. You should conserve your energy by floating on your back and staying calm. This will ensure you have the energy to remain afloat until further aid arrives.

RIP CURRENTS Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. The best way to avoid a rip is to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags. Rip currents are strong currents of water flowing away from shore through the surf zone. They are a strong force and on any given day, there are about 17,000 rips at beaches around Australia. The Facts about Rip Currents There are many myths about the ocean. Many people think it’s just tourists and poor swimmers who get caught in rips currents. In fact,

it’s young men aged 15-39 years who are most likely to die in rips. Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. The best way to avoid a rip is to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags. How to Spot a Rip Current Rips are complex, can quickly change shape and location, and at times, are difficult to see. The things to look for are; • Deeper, dark-coloured water. • Fewer breaking waves. • A rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters. • Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves. Rips don’t always show all of these signs at once. How to Survive a Rip Current • Relax – stay calm and float to conserve your energy. • Raise – raise your arm and attract attention from lifeguards or lifesavers. • Rescue – the lifeguards or lifesavers will be on their way to help you. • While floating, rip currents may flow in a circular pattern and return you to an adjacent sandbar • You may escape the rip current by swimming parallel to the beach, towards the breaking waves. • Reassess your situation. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try one of the other options until you’re rescued or return to shore.

Learn more about Beach Safety

Watch The Facts about Rip Currents video

Learn How to Spot a Rip

Learn How to Survive a Rip


KIDS ON BOATS It’s important to teach kids about safe boating right from the start of their boating life. Teaching them about safe boating practices such as navigation, safety equipment and emergency procedures will ensure they have a safe and enjoyable time on the water. Some things to consider when introducing your children to boating include: • Showing them around the boat, where all safety equipment is located and how to use it in case of an emergency • Teaching them the rules about keeping a good lookout, keeping a safe distance from others, travelling at a safe speed and reducing wash • Educating them about keeping all parts of their body inside the vessel when the boat is underway.

Learn more about Wearing a Lifejacket

WEAR A LIFEJACKET Lifejackets save lives and are the most important piece of safety equipment on any recreational vessel. Every person on board must have access to a lifejacket that is the correct size and in good condition. New rules apply in NSW and lifejackets must be worn in many situations, including if you are: • Under 12 years of age at all times on a vessel under 4.8 metres and in open areas of vessels under 8 metres when underway • On all boats less than 4.8 metres by everyone, when boating alone, at night, on open (ocean) waters or on alpine waters • On a personal watercraft (PWC) • On canoes and kayaks in many circumstances • Being towed ie water-skiing, wakeboarding, tubing etc • Instructed to by the skipper. Older children are encouraged to wear an appropriate lifejacket at all times, especially when in open areas of a boat.

SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE BOATING The skipper of every boat is responsible for the safety of their vessel and the people on board. As the skipper, take time to ensure the boat is ready and consider the safety issues associated with your activity and the waterway. Be mindful that hazardous situations can develop with children on board, so ensure

you are aware of all children’s positions and movements on the boat at all times. For more information on boating safely with children, visit rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime or call the info line 13 12 36. Further information on lifejackets can be found at rms.nsw.gov.au/lifejackets or lifejacketwearit.com.au.


VISIT LIFEJACKETWEARIT.COM.AU www.childsafetyhub.com.au


STEP INTO YOUR HOLIDAY IN NEW SOUTH WALES Pack up the car for a chilled-out break with friends and family at one of the many New South Wales’ campsites and holiday parks. So start planning your next adventure now and go to visitnsw.com.

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Watch a video on Farm Safety for Kids

PLAY SAFETY Farms provide a wonderful environment for children to grown up in and to visit. However, they are working environments and there can be many dangers and hazards for children. These safety tips are aimed at reducing injuries so that farms continue to be great places to live, learn and have fun. For younger children • Create a safe, secure, supervised play area with self closing gates for younger children away from farm activities. These are also useful for visiting children who may not be aware of farm hazards. • Ensure family members and visitors are aware of the safe play area and keep gates closed at all times. • Teach children the difference between safe play areas and work areas. • Separate driveways and turning circles from home and play areas.

hands with young children. • Ensure all children are appropriately and correctly restrained when travelling in vehicles on the farm. • Take keys out of vehicles and machinery when not in use and put out of reach of children. • Always ensure children wear helmets and other protective equipment when riding bikes. • Check that the bike is suited to the child’s size and ability. OTHER FARM HAZARDS • Always store hazardous products such as poisons, chemicals and pesticides in line with regulations or manufacturer’s instructions. • Choose appropriate child proof containers to store chemicals and poisons. Do not use soft drink bottles or other containers that may be mistaken by children. • Ensure power tools and oth-

SAFETY TIPS FOR KEEPING KIDS SAFE ON FARMS • Create a safe fenced play area for children away from farm activities. • Always supervise children on the farm particularly around water and animals. • Keep dangerous goods locked safely away.

Rural properties can be fun places for children to live and visit. However, farms are both a home and a workplace, and children may be at risk when playing or helping out.

For older children • Establish and reinforce safety rules for such as ‘out of bounds’ areas. • Ensure they let adults know where they are going on the farm. • Teach children the difference between safe play areas and work areas. VEHICLE SAFETY Vehicles and machinery are an essential part of farm life. Unfortunately they are also a leading cause of injury. • Children should not ride on tractors or in the back of utes. • Children should not ride quad bikes or be carried as passengers on quad bikes. • Always supervise children when vehicles are being moved. Hold

er dangerous machinery are unplugged when not in use and stored safely away from children. • Some farm machinery is very loud which can damage ears. Consider the location of the equipment and keep protective safety equipment in easy to reach places. • Ensure firearms are stored appropriately and correctly as specified by law at all times. • Provide adequate shade coverage to protect young children from the sun.

NSW DPI encourages farm safety awareness for young people.


Learn more about Keeping Safe on Farms

Tips to help keep kidssafe on farms environment. Dangers come especially from farm machinery, chemicals, water and animals.




• Always use appropriate restraints for all children when travelling in vehicles. • Be a good role model for children in vehicles and around the farm. • Establish and enforce farm safe rules. For more information you can also visit: mynrma.com.au farmsafe.org.au royallifesaving.com.au FARM WATER SAFETY Q. Where do toddlers commonly drown on farms? A. The most common location for toddler drowning deaths on farms are dams. However, the farm environment has a range of other water locations including dams, troughs, irrigation channels, water tanks and swimming pools. Q. How many children drown on farms? A. On average 4 children under the age of five drown in farm dams every year and there are approximately 3 hospitalisations for every drowning death. Q. How do I keep my child safe? A. In rural areas, it is not always feasible to fence off large water bodies such as lakes or dams, so Royal Life Saving suggests parents create a Child Safe Play Area. Royal Life Saving has also developed the Keep Watch @ The Farm program which provides information and useful resources to improve parent/carer awareness of drowning prevention strategies on farms. Q. What is a Child Safe Play Area? A. A Child Safe Play Area is a carefully planned, designated location which is securely fenced and helps to prevent a young child from entering the farm without adult supervision. Pool fencing requirements, including appropriate ‘child resistant’ gates and latches, can be used as a guide in planning a safe play area. For more information visit www.keepwatch.com.au for Fact Sheet No. 6 Child Safe Play Areas. 72


Q. Why do parents leave their children unsupervised? A. There are many reasons why a parent’s attention can be diverted from their child. Busy lifestyles, phone calls, visitors, preparing meals and other siblings are just some of the things which demand attention. The Keep Watch program advocates for supervision to be supported by fenced Child Safe Play Areas, water awareness and resuscitation skills.. been educating Australian parents and carers on how to keep their children safe when in, on, or around the water in a variety of locations. We are now tailoring the approach to locations with specific hazards – like those found on a farm. Keep Watch @ The Farm is aimed at preventing children under 5 years of age from drowning by getting parents and carers to undertake four simple actions: Supervise Ensure that when your child is in, on, or around water they are within arms’ reach and have your undivided attention at all times. This may include holding their hand when walking near a dam. Restrict Access Ensure that where possible there is a barrier between your child and the water. This may be an effective and well maintained pool fence or a child safe play area on a farm. Water Awareness Enrol your child in a water familiarisation class such as Royal Life Saving’s Swim and Survive Wonder Program. When new people arrive at your farm, ensure that they are made aware of the hazards and risks the farm environment may pose to children. Resuscitate Be prepared to respond in an emergency. Enrol in a resuscitation course and update your skills annually. If required, any response is better

than nothing. Just push and blow, and as soon as possible call ‘000’.

PLAYGROUND SAFETY Things to remember: • Children using playground equipment can experience many health, social and cognitive benefits. • Although children sometimes fall from playground equipment, you can reduce the risk of injury by keeping an eye your children, encouraging the use of ageappropriate equipment and allowing them to explore creative but safe ways to move. • Maintain a soft surface under and around all play equipment to a depth of 300mm. Play is an important part of a child’s development. Playing outside in the fresh air can be fun and adventurous, particularly when there are playmates. However, many Australian children are less active than they should be. Create safe play areas for children – separate play areas from driveways and roads. Young children must be within eyesight of an adult at all times while outdoors. The backyard or local playground provides lots of scope to run, climb, swing, explore and play imaginary games. With careful planning however, play environments can be challenging and safe for children. Playground benefits for children Being outdoors encourages all types of free play and helps children understand their environment. Playgrounds provide children with a range of experiences and opportunities including: • being physically active • being challenged and taking risks • socialising with friends • learning to cooperate • using their imagination • playing independently. A well-designed playground will stimulate a child’s imagination and encourage them to explore new dimensions to play.


PETS AND CHILDREN Things to remember: We’ve long loved dogs for being man’s best friend, but not so well known is that our pets can actually make us physically and mentally healthier. Just the presence of our pets can lift our spirits and help us relax. Physical health benefits Research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of physical health benefits • Increased cardiovascular health (lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides and in men, lower cholesterol) • Increased physical activity. Dogs especially help us get out and enjoy the outdoors while getting some regular exercise. They are great motivators and

personal trainers, never wanting to miss a training session no matter the weather. • Fewer visits to the doctor • Growing up with a dog (and other pets to a lesser extent) during infancy may help to strengthen the immune system and may reduce the risk of allergies • Children who have pets are less likely to miss days of school due to illness Psychological benefits Research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of psychological benefits • A study of school children showed that pet owners were more popular but also seemed more empathetic. • Those who have pets including children or adolescents have

been shown to have higher self-esteem. Teenagers who own pets have a more positive outlook on life and report less loneliness, restlessness, despair and boredom. • Pet owners report less depression and appear to cope with grief, stress and loss better than non-pet owners. • Pets enhance social connectedness and social skills and are great conversation starters! • Pets are also great caregivers. They keep us company when we’re sick or feeling down. They can make us feel safe while we’re home alone and they keep an eye on the house while we’re out.

Learn more about Responsible Pet Ownership and Dog Safety

For more information visit: www.rspca.org.au

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Food forforThought: Our Nutrition Philosophy That’s why we’re on we’re a mission raise the standards pet nutrition for decades to come. That’s why on a to mission to raise the standards for pet nutrition for decades to come.

We believe pets and people are better together, and it’s this belief that has driven us to push pet nutrition forward for decades. It’s what inspires our global team of over 400 scientists, including nutritionists to develop industry-leading pet foods, and to make those products accessible for more pets everywhere.

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forward for decades. It’s what inspires our global team of over 400 scientists, includ develop industry-leading pet foods, and to make those products accessible for more

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DRUG AND ALCOHOL AWARENESS Talking to your kids aged 15-17 For some parents, talking to your teenager about alcohol and setting rules and boundaries to keep them safe, can be daunting. Many parents feel that it’s their responsibility to create strategies and educate their children on when, where and how to drink. However some parents can struggle with how to provide this guidance. It’s vital that parents keep the lines of communication open through the teen years. Make sure you have frank discussions about alcohol. • Debunk some of the popular and unhelpful myths – e.g. not every parent provides their child with alcohol. • Be prepared. Teenagers will raise the topic of alcohol if and when they’re ready to talk. Be ready to have the conversation and address their queries – that’s when they’re most open to hear your advice. Remember to plan what you want to say to them ahead of time. • Be aware of your own role modelling when it comes to alcohol. Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s attitude and behaviours towards alcohol by being role models for their kids. Tips for the talk • Pick your time. The car can be a great place and time for constructive conversations – they’re a captive audience and there’s also the benefit that they don’t have to be facing you. • Be consistent in your own behaviour. It’s easier for teens to model their behaviour on positive role models when it’s consistent. • Draw the line between adult activities and child activities. Don’t be afraid to let your child know that some things aren’t appropriate for teens. If you believe that drinking alcohol is 74


only something that adults do, make sure they hear your views on the matter. • Challenge unfounded statements. If your child tells you that ‘everyone else drinks’, ask them to provide proof. • Challenge their beliefs. Be aware that teenagers are likely to want to drink alcohol believing it will help them fit in. They need to know they can fit in without drinking. • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your GP or local health professional is available for you and your teen.

large amounts of alcohol at home before heading out. Often they’re already intoxicated before they walk out the front door. By the time they get to where they’re going their judgement is clouded, causing them to continue drinking more than they intended to, so they don’t save money at all. If your teen really believes getting drunk every weekend is normal, there could be other factors at play. Perhaps there are other influences in their lives (peers, older siblings, relatives) or problems that you’re unaware of. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.

Binge drinking – putting things in perspective Binge drinking is not just about the number of drinks you have – it’s about drinking with the specific intention of ‘getting drunk’. Binge drinking receives a great deal of media attention and can lead to shaping teens beliefs that this is the norm. There’s no denying that there are many young people who drink in risky ways, but there are many teenagers who are trying their best to keep themselves and their friends as safe as possible.

Talking to your kids aged 9-14 Kids are interested in what’s going on around them and seeing how their role models use alcohol is part of this. So it’s important to start talking to your kids about alcohol. And the right time to start is right now. Research shows that parents have the greatest impact on shaping their children’s attitude to alcohol and future drinking behaviour. The role alcohol plays in your life will have an effect on them too. They might ask you about alcohol and what it’s like to drink it. Always answer honestly. • Talk to your child about alcohol and the importance of drinking in moderation. Explain what happens to the body when you drink too young and too much. • Set rules – the most important one being not to drink. Be sure to discuss this rule and agree on the consequences if not followed. • Teach them to say ‘no’ and that not everyone drinks. • Ask them how they feel about you drinking alcohol. What attitudes have they already formed about it? It will help you reflect on your own drinking behaviours and open up the lines of communication.

Remember: kids absorb your drinking. Australian research shows that in 2011 around 63% of 17 year olds were not considered to be current drinkers, so this finding may challenge the belief that everybody is doing it. However of those 17 year olds who were considered to be current drinkers, around 19% drank in a risky way (more than 4 drinks) at least once in the week before they were surveyed. That means there’s only a minority of kids who are binge drinking – but they’re still obvious and influential. Some young people ‘preload’ to save money – quickly drinking

Learn more Facts about Drinking


Don’t turn a foolie this Schoolies Schoolies. It’s a little word for a big week. It’s the holiday Year 12s all over Australia have been waiting for. But above all, it’s the chance to celebrate the end of school…finally. Hold up. Before you race out there, make sure you’re prepared. Not knowing the risks or what to do in an emergency can turn things ugly, fast. Wherever you’re planning on spending schoolies, it’s always good to have a plan. Around alcohol people can change and the risks are high. So here are a few tips for a fun, safe Schoolies Week: • Let your parents know where you’re staying and who you’re going with. • Keep in contact with your parents throughout the week – so they know you’re safe (they’re less likely to hassle you then too) • Register as a school leaver with the local council (or schoolies organisation) in the area you’re visiting. • Always have your phone on you (and charged!) • Put your ‘in case of emergency number’ (ICE) in your phone. • In an emergency call 000. • Keep money aside for emergencies. • Eat before you drink – preferably carbohydrate-rich food such as rice, bread, pasta, pizza etc. It’ll help slow the rate your body absorbs alcohol. • Be extra cautious with drinks. Avoid drinks with high alcohol content and beware of drink spiking – don’t let your drink out of your sight. • Pace your alcohol intake and hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks like water. • Stay with friends and keep an eye out for one another. • Don’t drink drive or get into a car with anyone who’s been drinking. • Avoid risky situations such as swimming after drinking or getting into arguments and fights. for more information visit “drinkwise.org.au

TOP 10 TIPS FOR PARENTS Here are 10 ways to encourage your kids to talk about drugs with you.


Be an active part of their lives Make sure you set aside time to spend with your kids. Take an interest in their interests and establish a routine for doing things with them. Spending time as a family is important, like eating together every day. When they go out, don’t be afraid to ask where they’re going or who they’ll be with.


Listen to your kids Showing that you’re prepared and willing to listen will help your kids feel more comfortable about listening to you. During a conversation try not to interrupt them or react in a way that will stop whatever you’re discussing. Encourage them to feel comfortable about telling you their problems, and ask for their input on family decisions to show that you value their opinions.


Be a role model When it comes to drugs there’s no such thing as ‘do as I say, not as I do’. If you take drugs yourself you can’t expect your kids to take your advice. It’s important not to underestimate the influence your behaviour has on them, particularly when it comes to alcohol or tobacco, or misuse of medications.


Be honest with them It’s natural that you won’t necessarily know everything about drugs. So while it’s important to be informed, you shouldn’t pretend to have answers to every question. Be prepared to say ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out for you’. If you’re honest and clear about where you stand, your kids will find it easier to be honest with you.


Pick your moment Make sure you pick the right time to discuss drugs with your kids, by looking for natural opportunities as they arise. This might be when you’re all watching TV, or when they’re talking about someone at their school or in their friendship group.


Be calm When it comes to talking about drugs, being calm and rational is important, as well as not overreacting. Make sure not to ridicule or lecture, as this could make future discussions about drugs more difficult and make your kids more resistant to talking about them at all.


Avoid conflict It is difficult to solve a problem where there’s a conflict. Try to see their point of view while encouraging them to understand yours. If a confrontation does develop, stop the conversation and come back to it when you’re both calmer.


Keep talking Once you’ve had a discussion about drugs it’s important to have another. Start talking to your kids about drugs early, and be willing to talk to your kids about the issue at any time.


Set clear boundaries Generally kids expect and appreciate some ground rules. By actively involving them in setting the rules you can encourage them to take more responsibility for sticking to them. Once you’ve decided on these rules, enforce them, and let your kids know the consequences of breaking them. Discuss and agree to ways your kids will act if they find themselves in situations where drugs are present. For example, let them know that you’ll always collect them if they need you to, whatever the hour. However, make it absolutely clear that you would rather they didn’t put themselves in a situation where they are likely to be exposed to drugs in the first place.


Focus on positives Be sure to reward your kids’ good behaviour and emphasise the things they do well. Encourage them to feel good about themselves and let them know that they deserve respect and should also respect themselves.



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Child Safety HANDBOOK

Approximately 260 children die and 58,000 are hospitalised every year due to unintentional injury in Australia There is no higher priority than protecting our children and Police Legacy continues their commitment to child safety. The greatest tool available to combat youth vulnerability is through knowledge. This handbook is for every family and includes everything we need as a community to protect our most valuable and vulnerable resource – our children.



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