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2019 1st EDITION


Proudly brought to you by NSW Police Legacy




8-9 2 -4

30 AM







A bush fire survival plan can help you ma decisions about what to do during a fire leave, what to take and what to do with a


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MESSAGE FROM HER EXCELLENCY THE HONOURABLE MARGARET BEAZLEY AO QC GOVERNOR OF NEW SOUTH WALES The health and wellbeing of our children is everyone’s responsibility. As Patron of New South Wales Police Legacy, I am honoured to contribute a message to all parents, carers, teachers and members of the community who will read this new edition of the Child Safety Handbook. Within these pages is a wealth of pro-active and preventative measures to keep our youngest and most vulnerable members of our community healthy and safe – at school and at home, with family members and with friends, while on the street and online, and during outdoor play and natural emergencies. I congratulate New South Wales Police Legacy for its continuing commitment to providing a copy of this invaluable and updated resource to parents of primary school-aged children throughout our State.

Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of New South Wales




FOREWORD BY NSW MINISTER FOR POLICE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES As the Minister for Police and a father of two, I am honoured to support the NSW Police Legacy’s Child Safety Handbook. Children are the most vulnerable members of our society, and protecting the most vulnerable is our foremost priority. Knowledge is the most valuable tool we can give parents and guardians to keep their children safe, at home, at school, and in the community. The Child Safety Handbook does a great job empowering parents and guardians with a toolkit on the latest up-to-date prevention strategies. I congratulate NSW Police Legacy on the continuation of this work and encourage parents and guardians to continue using this invaluable resource.

The Hon David Elliott MP NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services



ThinkUKnow is a free, evidence-based cyber safety program that provides presentations to Australian parents, carers and teachers and students. It provides information on the technologies young people use, the challenges they may face, and importantly, how they can be overcome. Presentations are delivered face to face or digitally. We aim to provide you with the tools to create a safer online environment for young people in your care. Our presentations cover what young people SAY, SEE and DO online.

Information For Parents: •

ThinkUKnow Australia is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Microsoft Australia, Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank, and is delivered in collaboration with New South Wales Police Force and other Australian law enforcement agencies. It aims to raise awareness amongst parents, carers and teachers of how young people might use technology, the challenges they may face and how to help them overcome these challenges.

• •

Encourage your child’s school to book a ThinkUKnow presentation by completing the booking form on our website, or calling 1300 362 936 during business hours. Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and issues. Visit our website www.thinkuknow.org.au for information and advice on raising children in a digital age.

Sponsored by The Hon David Elliott MP Minister for Police and Emergency Services


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.

Gladys Berejiklian MP Premier of New South Wales Member for Willoughby




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.

Gary Merryweather 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



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.



CONTENTS NSW Governor Foreword NSW Police Minister Foreword NSW Premier Foreword NSW Police Legacy Chairperson Foreword NSW Police Commissioner Foreword Useful Contacts Student Wellbeing Hub PERSONAL SAFETY

1 2 3 4 2 6 8 8 - 11

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 SCHOOL

13 - 19

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? SAFETY AT HOME Home Alone Answering the phone Answering the door Parent’s guide to online safety Cyberbullying Time online Help and resources Blind and Curtain Cord Safety Toppling Furniture Button Battery Safety Basic First Aid Allergic Reactions Sprains & Strains DRSABCD Action Plan First Aid for Burns and Scalds Burns and Scalds Preparing for Emergencies

20- 31

FIRE, FLOOD & STORM SAFETY 32 - 43 Fire Safety Keep Looking When Cooking Smoke Alarms Plan A Safe Escape Bush Fire Safety Prepare / Act / Survive Storm, Flood and Tsunami Safety Stormsafe Your emergency checklist Floodsafe Tsunamisafe HEALTH AND SAFETY

44 - 55

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 Healthy eating for children Dental health Tooth Decay Cleaning Teeth Dental Emergencies Food allergy or intolerance Signs & Symptoms What is Anaphylaxis? Diagnosis Management & Treatment Common Food Allergy signs and symptoms Healthy kids The NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy Diabetes Asthma Immunisation About Immunisation How Immunisation Works Why Vaccinate Vaccinating on time 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 Safe travel Kids in hot cars Driveway Safety Train Safety Rail Crossing Safety Light Rail Safety School Bus Safety Ferry Safety Keeping safe in crowds Dealing with strangers

56 - 69


70 -75

Sun Safety SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SEEK, SLIDE Kids on Boats Wear a life jacket Off-Road Motorcycle Safety Skateboards, Foot Scooters and Rollerblades Kids on farms Play safety Vehicle safety Farm water safety Pets and children DRUG AWARENESS

76 - 77

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, CILTA AWAR by Associat Produced, published and distributed on behalf of NSW Police Legacy by: Associated Media Group Pty Ltd 174 Willoughby Road Crows Nest NSW 2065 T: 02 9437 5155 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 9437 5155 E: cshb@amgroup.net.au Copyright © NSW Police Legacy Ltd - Dec 2013

1st Edition - 2019 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.




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PERSONAL SAFETY Protection Helpline on 132 111 for the cost of a local call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CHILD PROTECTION WHAT IS CHILD ABUSE? There are four different types of child abuse: • physical abuse • psychological harm • sexual abuse • 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. You can make a report by phoning the Child 10


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 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 & 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 www.childsafetyhub.com.au



Learn more about Mandatory Reporting

• 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 bedwetting or soiling • self-destructive behaviour e.g. drug dependency, suicide attempts, self-mutilation • child being in contact with a known or suspected paedophile • 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 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 nonimminent 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 nongovernment 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-forprofit organisation staff working with vulnerable children and families. www.childsafetyhub.com.au








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.




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.

• 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 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. 16


• 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. 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 contacting 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



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KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE WHEN THE SCHOOL DAY IS OVER, BUT THE WORK DAY ISN’T. Out of school hours care is one of the safe spaces in the community that wraps around a family and their child during the busy primary school years. All children have a right to be safe, cared for and thriving and parents, carers and school communities are actively looking to ensure these aims are met. Not only common sense, safety is a child’s right enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by the United Nations and signed by Australia in 1990. In our busy, striving society where long hours and high stress are typical, we must be collectively mindful of ensuring children do not bear the brunt of exhausted adults. “This is about a mind shift to putting children at the centre of what we do – they are rights holders. This is a mind shift for kids as well as educators and sector members”… Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner, Child Protection in OSHC Think Tank, Macquarie University December 2018

Once the school years begin, family life gets even more complex. Parents can struggle to manage the care gap between the school day ending before the work day does. Care and communication styles for school aged children differ from the needs of babies and toddlers and safe, responsive environments designed for older children are needed. Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) centres often run on the school grounds offer supportive, easily accessed social environments where school aged children are safe, stimulated and most importantly, well supervised. OSHC Educators are professional and well trained, with expertise in child protection and programming that extends and enriches the child’s experience, enhancing wellbeing, development and learning. “In OSHC environments, Children are well known, behaviours are seen as opportunities for Educators to learn more about the children in their care. In this space – a child is truly seen, heard and understood”… 2018 Attitudes in OSHC Survey, Macquarie University/Primary OSHCare

Centres must comply with the National Quality Framework (NQF) for outside school hours care. This framework includes quality areas and elements presented in codified standards that detail requirements for children’s safety and department assessors regularly attend services to review compliance. In the past, the community placed little focus on OSHC practices, but the embedding of the NQF within communities and the findings of the Royal Commission into children’s safety has changed these attitudes for the better. Since 2016, Primary OSHCare, a member of the Junior Adventures Group of quality OSHC providers, has shared a partnership with Macquarie University to consider child safety in OSHC environments. This partnership has generated much needed sector research, discussion and recently a Think Tank that brought together sector leaders who share a commitment to improving outcomes for children. This work highlighted the importance of strong relationships between the OSHC team, families and the school to support best practice and children’s safety. When OSHC is well integrated, collaborative relationships are in evidence, similar language and shared values develop between the school, the service and families - children are well known and their safety is prioitised. The more closely OSHC, parents and the school team interrelate, the more relevant and responsive the service becomes – ensuring continuity of care for children, shared language and safety norms.




HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL REVOLUTIONISE CHILD SAFETY AND ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS Above all, safety and security are on the top of your mind as you drop off the kids at school. However, the reality remains – anyone could walk onto school premises undetected, including those who may pose a danger. To help provide peace of mind, schools and technology providers have turned to facial recognition technology to help enhance their security measures – from tracking school visitors to monitoring classroom attendance. Using facial recognition technology to improve security and safety in schools Facial recognition technology, underpinned by artificial intelligence which helps to identify faces to a matched database, can seem futuristic to some however the reality is that such technology has already made its way in our daily lives. It is most commonly used in airports, sporting stadiums, phone security and for social media identification. It also has significant applications for the education sector. Facial recognition tools such as Acer’s MyVisitor can assist in identifying and managing the various people that step foot on the school grounds. Between the number of people that pick up children from school – parents, relatives, nannies or even family friends – and the range of people that need to enter a school, including construction workers, substitute teachers or old employees, this can cause challenges in understanding who is authorised and who isn’t. MyVisitor can strengthen student safety in a more convenient and affordable manner, compared to other visitor identification systems. By scanning the faces of people entering the building in realtime and comparing it to a list of approved family members, teachers and personnel, this ultimately provides a more enhanced level of access control for school administrators. Tools such as MyClassroom also complement these requirements by using facial recognition to alleviate administration pressures on teachers and simplify classroom attendance management. The technology also provides schools and teachers with interactive floor plans mapping the location of students, giving an extra element of safety and security to provide peace of mind for both teachers and parents.



Behavioural analytics to enhance student engagement and wellbeing Beyond facial recognition to facilitate student safety and classroom management, artificial intelligence can also be used to track student learning behaviours and foster positive classroom environments for both teachers and students. One example of this is the recently unveiled UTS x Acer Learner Attention Analytics Pilot Program, which aims to better understand individual learning patterns as well as detect frustration and hesitation in the classroom. It is currently being piloted with 200 Australian University students and uses laptop devices to collect information on students’ eye gaze, mouse, keyboard and digital pen movements to map how much attention a student is paying and create ways to enhance engagement. With the help of machine learning algorithms and learner data collected, the goal is to use the behavioural patterns drawn from the study to better inform how teachers educate their students in the future. It can also correlate the data to identify challenges students face outside the classroom – including bullying or family difficulties – and how this impacts their ability to learn and grow inside the classroom. Ultimately the focus remains on protecting your child, as well as elevating their learning experience and wellbeing. For schools and technology providers, the key takeaway is to harness the advances of facial recognition technology in a way that best supports the classroom experience.

The Hub is where you can access the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework and is a space for educators, parents and students to find resources to build safe, inclusive and connected school communities that promote wellbeing and learning.

LEADERSHIP Visible leadership to inspire positive school communities

INCLUSION Inclusive and connected school culture

SUPPORT Wellbeing and support for positive behaviour

STUDENT VOICE PARTNERSHIPS Effective family and community partnerships

Authentic student participation

About Wellbeing As a parent you know that your child’s success at school is linked to their wellbeing. You want your child to be happy and well and to enjoy everything that school offers.

Wellbeing and learning go hand in hand. Parents have a significant role to play in laying the foundation for their child’s wellbeing from their earliest years. When your child feels connected to their family, peers and teachers they feel safe and secure and know they’ll be supported throughout their learning journey. Safe and trusting relationships create a positive learning environment where wellbeing can flourish. The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework supports you to work with the school to promote your child’s wellbeing and learning.

studentwellbeinghub.edu.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au


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 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. • 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.

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.



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 A guide to online bullying for parents and carers Online bullying can have a devastating impact on young people, whose online life is a key part of their identity and how they interact socially. Cyberbullying behaviour takes many forms, such as sending abusive messages, hurtful images or videos, nasty online gossip, excluding or humiliating others, or creating fake accounts in someone’s name to trick or humiliate them. I think my child is being bullied Your child may not tell you if they are experiencing bullying behaviour online because of a fear it might make things worse for them or they may lose access to their devices and the internet. Signs to watch for: • being upset after using the internet or their mobile phone • changes in personality, becoming more withdrawn, anxious, sad or angry • appearing more lonely or distressed • unexpected changes in friendship groups • a decline in their school work • changes in their sleep patterns • avoidance of school or clubs • a decline in their physical health • becoming secretive about their online activities and mobile phone use What to do Whatever the age of your child Try to resist immediately taking away their device • Removing your child’s phone or computer could be really unhelpful. Cutting off their online access does not teach them about online safety or help build resilience. It could alienate them from their peers, and it also removes an essential tool for them to communicate and connect with friends. Stay calm and open — don’t panic • You want your child to feel confident that you’re not immediately going to get upset, angry or anxious if they tell you about the situation. You want them to know they can talk to you and feel heard. • The best way to do this is make sure you have an open dialogue from the beginning. Talk to them without being judgemental or angry, and make them feel like they can come to you with anything,

without fear of being punished. Listen, think, pause • Gauge the scale of the problem. Does it exist in a peer group or is it more widespread? Is it a few remarks here and there? Or is it more serious? Empathise with your child and let them know that you understand how they feel. • How badly is it affecting your child personally? If the bullying itself is not very intense, but your child seems quite seriously affected, this could be a symptom of something larger. In this case you may need to seek help, from a school counsellor, a helpline, or an external professional. • Try not to respond until you have had time to work out the best course of action. Reassure your child you are working on it and will come together again very soon to talk through some options. Let them know you are there if they feel like they need to talk in the meantime.

Learn more about Cyberbullying

Learn more about Online Safety

Act to protect your child if necessary • If your child is being threatened, or if they indicate a wish to harm themselves, you should get professional help. Call Triple Zero (000) immediately, if their physical safety is at risk. Empower your child • Wherever possible, try to build your child’s confidence and help them make wise decisions for themselves, rather than telling them what to do. • If you feel they may be struggling to open up to you, connect them with other trusted adults or with professional support. Collect evidence • Before you or your child block someone or delete posts or other bullying material, take screenshots and collect evidence including dates and times. • The evidence may be useful if the bullying behaviour continues and you need a record of how long it has been going on. You may also need evidence if you want to report it. • However, if the bullying material involves sexualised images, be aware that possessing or sharing such images of people under 18 may be a crime, even if you have just taken a screenshot for evidence purposes. For information about relevant laws in Australia, visit Youth Law Australia. You can also read our advice about sharing intimate images sending nudes and sexting. www.childsafetyhub.com.au



Manage contact with others • Advise your child not to retaliate or respond to bullying messages, as sometimes people say hurtful things just to get a response and it could make things worse. If they have already responded, encourage them not to respond further. • Help your child to block or unfriend the person sending the messages to limit contact with them. • Help your child change their privacy settings to restrict who can see their posts and profile page. Advice on privacy settings is available in the eSafety Guide. • Encourage your child to ask their friends whether mean content is still being posted and if so, ask them to report it. Report • Many social media services, games, apps and websites make it easy to report content posted by other people. Our eSafety Guide has links to report abusive content and online safety information. • If serious cyberbullying is affecting your child and you need help to get the material removed from a social media service or other platform, we can help. • You can make a cyberbullying report to eSafety on your child’s behalf if they are under 18 years of age. It may be useful for you to read the frequently asked questions about making a report and information about how we handle cyberbullying reports. Consider seeking support from your child’s school • Your child’s school may have a policy in place to address cyberbullying and may be able to provide support, whether or not the bullying is from a student at your child’s school. • With your child’s agreement, talk to their teacher or the school counsellor. Encourage positive connections and coping strategies • Try to keep your child engaged with interests like sports or dance that connect them with other young people outside school, or with activities that involve extended family. These things will also remind your child that they are loved and lovable. • Help your child identify tools they can use to work through the current situation, as well as help build resilience for any future challenges. Check out good habits start young for some tips.

TIME ONLINE A guide to managing online time for parents and carers Help your child achieve a healthy balance in their 24


online and offline activities. How much is too much? There is no magic figure. The right amount of screen time can depend on a range of factors like your child’s age and maturity, the kind of content they are consuming, their learning needs and your family routine. It can be easy to focus only on the clock, but the quality and nature of what they are doing online, and your involvement, are just as important. Consider your child’s screen use in the context of their overall health and wellbeing. For example, is online time getting in the way of their sleep and exercise? Is it impacting on their face-to-face connections with family and friends? The answers to these questions will guide you and help strike the right balance of online and offline activities for your child. Signs to watch for Signs that your child’s online activity may be having a negative impact on them or on your family include: • less interest in social activities like meeting friends or playing sport • not doing so well at school • tiredness, sleep disturbance, headaches, eye strain • changes in eating patterns • reduced personal hygiene • obsession with particular websites or games • extreme anger when being asked to take a break from online activity • appearing anxious or irritable when away from the computer • becoming withdrawn from friends and family Help your child manage their online time Stay engaged and encourage balance • Keep an eye on the games, apps and devices your child uses. Chat with your child regularly and help them stay aware of how much time they are spending on different online and offline activities. • Include positive things outside the online world in your conversations, such as what they love in life, careers they are interested in and new hobbies. • Join in. Play games together as a family, or explore some joint online projects. Rather than being just a solitary activity, online time can then become another way of


strengthening connections as well as building social skills. • Where possible, try not to avoid limiting online time as a punishment as this approach may inflate its importance to children. Create a plan • Involve your child in creating a family plan for leisure and entertainment time that balances time spent sitting in front of screens — including time online and watching TV — and a variety of offline activities. • Work out the plan together. Young people are more likely to respond to rules they have contributed to and see as being fair and consistent. • As well as agreed age-based time limits, the plan could include rules about which websites can be visited and online games can be played. It could also include control of access to the internet or devices, perhaps with daily passwords revealed once family time, homework and chores are complete. • A minor reduction each day or a ‘15-minutes to switch-off’ warning can help the transition to a more balanced use of time. Reducing your own screen time also sets a positive example. • You could also consider formalising your plan into a signed written agreement — a family online safety contract. Our advice in online safety basics has some tips on this.

• There should be clear consequences for not sticking to the agreement and it is important to follow through with these. Use the available technology • Parental controls are software tools that allow you to monitor and limit what your child sees and does online. But be honest and open with your children about why and how you want to use these technologies. • There are also apps and software to measure online time as well as set time limits on device use or internet access. • Find out more information about parental controls in taming the technology.

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

Set boundaries for digital device use in your home Device-free zones and times can help you manage screen time. For example, your family plan could include rules like this: • no devices in the bedroom for younger children • all screens off in bedrooms after a certain time for older children • all screens off at least one hour before planned bedtime • all family members switch off at dinner time • devices charged overnight in a place your child cannot access

Learn how to lodge a cyberbullying complaint

For more information visit esafety.gov.au/parents


Check out the following support services and resources to help you keep your family safe online. The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner esafety.gov.au 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. 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. eHeadspace eheadspace.org.au 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.

Parentline parentline.com.au or phone 1300 30 1300 Parentline provides a counselling, information and referral service for Parents that operates 7days a week between 8am-10pm.

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.

Lifeline lifeline.org.au or phone 13 11 14 Lifeline provides free 24hour crisis counselling and information about support services.

Kids Helpline kidshelpline.com.au or phone 1800 55 1800 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.

Crime Stoppers crimestoppers.com.au or phone 1800 333 000 Crimestoppers or your local police can assist with concerns about children’s personal safety.



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Download more Learn more and curtain cords/chains are out of reach of children, 2. Secure your cords out of reach information particularly from children under six. about Blind and about Blind and Buy cleats or tensioning devices Curtain Safety1. Check your blind and curtain cords Curtain Safety cords from a hardware store or c Check for loose or looped cords that your

blind shop. child can reach from the floor or by climbing Use screws to fix each cleat or te on furniture. in a place that is out of reach of c Immediately tie cords out of reach and move Never secure these devices with away any furniture children might climb on to may fail when a load is placed on reach them. double-sided tape or glue. Do this anywhere you are staying, including curtainson holiday.

BLIND AND CURTAIN CORD SAFETY 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. 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. a Immediately tie

3. Choose safe blinds and Buy new curtains and blinds which: 2. Secure your cords out of reach a comply with the national mandatory standard Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing a have warning labels to remind you ofcords from a hardware store or curtain and dangers blind shop. to children Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device a provide a way to secure cords/chains so there are in a place that is out of reach of children. no loops or strands that children can reach, or Never secure these devices with materials that a operate without exposed cords/chains. may fail when a load is placed on them, such as double-sided tape or glue.

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. x Never secure these devices with materials that may fail when a load is placed on them, such as doublesided 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.

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

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NEW ONLINE DIRECTORY Find local opportunities, activities, services and events for your children Children and young people from a diverse range of backgrounds, interests and experiences expressed the need to have an easy way to access local and state-wide opportunities, activities, services and events. Through ongoing consultations, polls and focus groups, access to this information continues to be raised by children and young people as a priority for them. There are thousands of opportunities, activities, services and events provided by NSW Government and non-government partners who work with, by and on behalf of children and young people. For this reason, Our Local was developed to bring anything from homelessness and mental health services, to libraries, internships, parks and festivals together into one place.

A few of the 88 categories are listed below: • School holiday activities • Community events • Outdoor activities • Mental health services • Training & workshops • State-wide celebrations • Sports & Recreation • Performing arts • Internships • Education • Aboriginal services • Volunteering • Visual Arts • Museums & galleries • Community facilities • Homelessness services • Scholarships & grants • Support services

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TAL Life Limited ABN 70 050 109 450 AFSL 237 848 (TAL)




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.

Learn how to anchor your furniture

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

For more information on toppling furniture, visit www.productsafety.gov.au/anchorfurniture

BUTTON BATTERY SAFETY DID YOU KNOW? • In Australia, an estimated 4 children per week present to an emergency department with an injury related to a button battery. Kids under 5 years old represent the greatest risk. • When a coin-sized lithium button battery gets stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the oesophagus in as little as two hours. • Symptoms of coin-sized button battery ingestion may be similar to other childhood illnesses, such as coughing, drooling, and discomfort. • Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed.

PREVENTION Kids under 4 are at the greatest risk. Many coin-sized button batteries can appear “invisible” to parents because devices come with the batteries already installed. To keep your children safe: • Look in your home for any items that may contain coin-sized button batteries.

• Place devices out of sight and out of reach of small children. • Keep loose or spare batteries locked away. • Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and babysitters.

TREATMENT Keeping these batteries locked away and secured in devices is key, but if a coin-sized button battery is swallowed, you should follow these steps: • Go to the emergency room immediately. Tell doctors and nurses that it might be a coin-sized button battery. • If possible, provide the medical team with the identification number found on the battery’s pack. • Do not let the child eat or drink until an X-ray can determine if a battery is present. • Do not induce vomiting.

Learn more about the dangers of button batteries

Watch a video on button battery safety

TheBatteryControlled.com.au Poisons Information Centre: 13 1126 For more information visit productsafety.gov.au





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.

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


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


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



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

DEFIBRILLATION Apply defibrillator if available and follow voice prompts





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.

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.

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.

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.

Learn more first aid facts from St John Ambulance

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. 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 possibe. For more information visit www.stjohn.org.au

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 numbers to include. You can find the others in your local phone book. Police / Fire / Ambulance • local police • Poisons Information Centre • Council • Children’s Hospital, family doctor • Health Nurse • neighbours • relatives.





Learn more about Keeping Kids Safe on Farms

Watch a video on Farm Safety for Kids

Tips to help keep kidssafe on farms environment. Dangers come especially from farm machinery, chemicals, water and animals. 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. 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 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. For more information you can also visit: 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.

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.

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. 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.

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



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’.


HOME POOL SAFETY 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. Drowning risks around the home Home pools and spas are obvious drowning hazards. But there are many other items and areas which present a drowning threat to young children around the home. Buckets, bathtubs, eskies (coolers), fountains, fishponds, drains, inflatable pools, and even pet bowls all pose a significant drowning risk especially to younger children. It is crucial that these are emptied, covered, put away and not left where they can fill up with water. Most toddler drowning deaths occur when parents’ attention is divided. Other siblings, preparing meals, and phone calls are just a few of the many distractions that can interfere with a parent’s supervision. Children need constant supervision when they’re in, on, or around the water. If you’re at a party or gathering don’t assume that someone is watching your child or children. It is all too possible that no one is. Nominate a designated ‘child supervisor’ and rotate the supervision responsibilities regularly. Portable Pools Portable swimming pools take several forms and include inflatable pools, pools incorporating a canvas or flexible plastic liner attached to a frame, and hard plastic pools such as wading pools. Depths vary from less than 150mm to over one metre. Portable pools pose a serious drowning risk to small children. Even with very little water, it only takes seconds for a child to drown in a portable pool. They also present a risk because owners are generally not aware of the need in most States and Territories to fence a portable pool that is 300mm deep or more. Children have also drowned in portable pools that have not been emptied and put away after use. Young children are at risk of drowning in portable pools for a number of reasons. Young children are naturally fascinated by water and are top heavy so when they lean over to look into water or reach for an object they can easily topple over and drown in just a few centimetres of water. Young children are unable to understand the concept of danger and may have difficulty in understanding that water could cause them harm. Childhood drowning is a silent event as children generally do not cry out for help.

• Check with your local council for fencing requirements. • Make sure you always actively supervise children within arms’ reach whenever they are in or around the water. • Never rely on older children to supervise younger children, no matter how confident you are in their ability. • For smaller pools ensure they are emptied and put away after use. • When not in use, store the pool securely out of reach of young children. • Ensure the pool cannot fill with rain water or water from sprinklers. • Don’t exceed the number of adults or children the pool can safely hold. Pool Fencing Regulations Backyard pools represent a major cause of drowning among children under 5. The passage and enforcement of home pool fencing regulations, the most demanding of which require four sided isolation fencing and mandate regular inspections, has greatly reduced the rate of drowning in home pools.

Learn more about Pool Safety

Watch a video about Pool Safety

For more information on pool safety visit royallifesaving. com.au/programs/home-pool-safety.

Drowning happens quickly and silently! Always keep watch over your children at home. www.childsafetyhub.com.au



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

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

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

Avoid cooking under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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




Keep matches out of reach of children.

IF YOUR PAN CATCHES FIRE HERE’S WHAT TO DO Turn off the stove (if safe to do so) and use the lid to cover the flame.

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

Turn pot handles inwards.

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



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

Learn more about Cooking & Fire Safety

Watch a video about Cooking & Fire Safety

Download the Fire + Rescue App

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

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

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



FIRE SAFETY Learn more about Smoke Alarms


Watch a video on ReAlarm: Shopping to replace your smoke alarm

Help us, help you stay safe by following these simple smoke alarm guidelines:

1. It’s the law to have at least one or more working smoke alarms 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.

Single Plan

Smoke Minim

Smoke Additio

2. Smoke alarms must have the Australian Standard symbol on the packaging. Fire and Rescue NSW recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom and 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.

Multi-L Floor P

4. Your local Fire & Rescue NSW station will be happy to give you advice on which type is best suited for you.

Smoke Minim



1. Avoid fitting smoke alarms in or near your kitchen or bathroom. 2. The ideal position is on the ceiling between sleeping and living areas. 3. In addition to the minimum requirement, Fire & Rescue NSW recommends installing smoke alarms in all bedrooms where people sleep. 4. Hard-wired smoke alarms need to be installed by an electrician. 5. Always install smoke alarms in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. 6. If it is difficult for you to fit one yourself, contact your local Fire & Rescue NSW station for help. They’ll be happy to install your smoke alarm battery for you.



Smoke Additio


afe e :


Single Floor Plan

Smoke Alarms for Minimum Protection Smoke Alarms for Additional Protection

Multi-Level Floor Plan

Smoke Alarms for Minimum Protection Smoke Alarms for Additional Protection


1. Test your smoke alarm batteries every month by pressing and holding the test button for five seconds. Replace batteries every 12 months. 2. Vacuum dust off alarms every six months. 3. Replace smoke alarms with a new alarm every ten years or earlier, if specified by the manufacturer. For more information on smoke alarms, visit: fire.nsw.gov.au and planning.nsw.gov.au





FACT - Having a home escape plan in conjunction with a working smoke alarm will greatly increase your chances of getting out safely. Every second counts

Draw a floor plan of your home, including two ways of escape from each room. Plan an escape route and ensure everyone knows how to get out.

Blocked exits are a hazard. Keep exits clear.

Keep door and window keys in or next to locks so they can be opened easily.

Decide on a meeting place outside e.g. .the letterbox. Provide alternatives and someone to assist for anyone with a disability.

EXAMPLE ESCAPE PLAN Decide on a meeting place outside e.g. the letterbox.

MEETING PLACE Plan two ways out of a room. Primary Secondary

Draw your escape plan here and share it with your family.





The backyard barbie can be a common cause of fires during summer. Here are some pointers:

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

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


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


with soapy water.


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Check the expiry date before using a gas cylinder. Ensure connections on hoses are tight with no leakage.


Never use portable LPG cylinders indoors or in confined Ensure connections spaces. on hoses are tight with no leakage. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions Never check for maintenance. for leaks with a naked flame.

Check the expiry date before using Never use a hose a gas cylinder. that has perished or is cracked.

or used incorrectly.


Never check for leaks with Never use a hose a naked flame. that has perished or is cracked.



Never use a hose that has perished Always read or is cracked. follow the Liquid Petroleum Gasand (LPG) can manufacturer’s be extremely dangerous if stored instructions for or used incorrectly. maintenance.




× × ×


Ensure connections on hoses are tight with nocheck leakage. Never Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) can with for leaks be extremely dangerous aif naked storedflame. PREVENTING

Never check for leaks Never usewith a naked flLPG ame. portable cylinders indoors or in confined spaces.





× × ×

damaged or rusty.



Ensure connections on hoses are tight Replace cylinders if they appear with no leakage.


Check the expiry date before using a gas cylinder. or used incorrectly.


Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for Check the expiry maintenance. date before using a gas cylinder.

Check the expiry date before using a gas cylinder.

LPG & GAS CYLINDER Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) can SAFETY be extremely dangerous if stored


There should be an adult in chargeNever use of a lit barbecue portable LPG at all times. cylinders indoors Always read or infollow confined and the spaces. manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance.

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


or in confined spaces.

Never use portable LPG cylinders indoors or in confined spaces.

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



Replace cylinders Never use if they appear portable LPG damaged cylinders or rusty. indoors


barbecues clean nsure all gas and connections rrectly fitted.



The backyard barbie can be a common cause of fires during summer. Here are some pointers:

× ×



There should be an adult in charge Never use of a lit barbecue portable LPG at all times. cylinders indoors or in confined spaces.



barbecues clean nsure all gas and connections rrectly fitted.


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





The backyard barbie can be a common cause Check cylinder and of fires during summer. for leaks by Here are some hoses pointers: brushing or spraying



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


Ensure connections on hoses are tight with no leakage. 12


39 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

Keep away from overhead powerlines – electricity can jump!

Never play on electrical equipment or trees near powerlines.

Stay at least 8 metres away from fallen powerlines.

Use electrical appliances safely and correctly.

Keep electrical appliances away from water.

For more electricity safety information, visit essentialenergy.com.au/education

Child Safety HANDBOOK

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TurksLegal is a proud supporter of NSW Police Legacy and the Child Safety Handbook

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www.childsafetyhub.com.au 2018 NSW Police Legacy-AD-91x85mm-FINAL PRINT.indd 1

19/04/2018 11:16:54 AM

STORM, FLOOD & TSUNAMI 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 When a STORM WARNING is broadcast Servere Weather Warnings and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued by the Bureau

Learn more about Storm Safety

Download the SES StormSafe app

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 are a few things you can do to help protect your family and property; • Move indoors, 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:

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 A first aid kit Candles and waterproof matches Important papers including emergency contact numbers Copies of any emergency plan 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 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.

TSUNAMISAFE 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 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. 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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.

Learn more about Flood Safety

Learn how to be prepared for a flood

Download the SES FloodSafe app

Learn more about Tsunami Safety

Learn more about the SES Home Emergency Plan Checklist

For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500 or visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au For life threatening emergencies call 000. www.childsafetyhub.com.au



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 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 46


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

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 overcontrolled. They may have a nervous or anxious temperament and be worried, fearful and/or withdrawn. Children with externalising difficulties show behaviours that are under-controlled. 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 difficulties for others as well as for the children themselves.

Learn more about children’s mental health

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Watch a video about children’s mental heallth

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 difficulties (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. If your problem is urgent call Lifeline 13 11 44




Play the game: Eat for Health

TEACH YOUR CHILD HEALTHY HABITS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE 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. Guideline 4 Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding. Guideline 5 Care for your food; prepare and store it safely.

EARLY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT CAN BENEFIT GROWING CHILDREN While successful orthodontic treatment is possible at any age, early intervention may help your child’s treatment to be easier, faster and more cost-effective. Orthodontics Australia recommends children between the ages of 7-10 years visit a specialist orthodontist for an assessment, with no referral from a dentist required. Many children require treatment between the ages of 7 – 10 (known as phase one treatment), particularly if they have experienced premature tooth loss from decay, protruding or overcrowding teeth, difficulties biting or chewing or long term thumb-sucking. Early treatment can address more serious bite-related issues that may otherwise be difficult or painful to correct at a later age when their teeth are more set. Signs that your child may need to see an orthodontist for early orthodontic intervention include: · Thumb sucking · Protruding and/or overcrowded teeth · Losing baby teeth prematurely due to cavities (decay) or trauma · Snoring or breathing through the mouth · Teeth that don’t meet properly when eating · Difficulties with biting or chewing · A family history of impacted or missing teeth A specialist orthodontist is the most qualified practitioner to decide whether there is a need for early treatment, or if not, what the best course of action is in the long term. https://orthodonticsaustralia.org.au/ 48


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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 to clean your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Use a small, soft toothbrush and water. When the child is 18 months of age, introduce a small amount of junior fluoride toothpaste onto the brush. Just put a smear of toothpaste on the brush. It is best that your child cleans their teeth the twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Family strength toothpaste can be introduced after 6 years of age. From around 3 years of age until about 8 years of age, children can do some of the tooth brushing themselves, adults will need to help with brushing at least once a day. If the bacteria have been on the teeth for a long time, the gums may bleed (gingivitis) when brushed. This tells you that the gums are unhealthy. To get them healthy again the gums need to be cleaned along with your teeth, even if they bleed when brushed, the bleeding will stop after a while. Tips to prevent dental disease (dental decay and gingivitis) Here are some tips to prevent dental decay and gingivitis for children: • Put only breast milk, formula or water in your baby’s bottle. • Always hold your baby when feeding and remove the bottle when they have had enough to drink. • Putting your baby to bed with a bottle can cause tooth decay • Honey, glycerine, condensed milk or other sticky foods or liquids on your baby’s dummy can cause tooth decay • Drink fluoridated tap water throughout the day. If you are not sure if your local water is fluoridated, check with your local council • Avoid eating sugary sticky foods, fizzy drinks, 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 toothpaste) • If there’s no toothbrush, rinse with water • Use dental floss daily from about 3-4 years of age • Visit your dentist regularly 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 a build-up of plaque at the gum line, 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 (adult) teeth, they need to be replaced in the socket and splinted as soon as possible, preferably Brushing within the hour. The sooner the tooth is back in place Childrens Teeth: In Pictures 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. If the permanent tooth is knocked out: • Hold the tooth by the crown, and if it’s clean, replant tooth immediately and hold it in place by biting gently on a handkerchief or clean cloth. If the tooth is dirty, rinse in milk or saline first, then replant the tooth (use water as a last resort, 10 seconds only) • Do not scrub or touch the root of tooth • 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. • If you can’t replant the tooth, store it in a cup of milk, saline or saliva. Do not store in water. 2. Seek urgent dental treatment, go straight to a dental clinic or emergency department of a hospital. Time is a critical factor in saving the tooth. Teeth development Most children have 20 baby teeth. Typically, baby teeth can start to appear between 6 - 10 months of age and continue coming through until a child is 3 years of age. The bottom front teeth are usually the first to appear. When teething begins, you may notice that your child drools more and wants to chew on things. For some babies, teething is painless: others may experience brief periods of irritability. Giving your baby something to chew on like a clean chilled teething ring or clean cold wash cloth, or rubbing their gums with a clean finger can help relieve symptoms. 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. The appearance of adult teeth usually occurs between 6-12 years of age, with the exception of wisdom teeth that might start coming through around 17 years of age. Adult teeth don’t get replaced, so you have to look after them. It’s a good idea to have regular dental visits to check on your child’s tooth development. www.childsafetyhub.com.au



FOOD ALLERGY OR INTOLERANCE? Learn more about Food Allergies

Download more information about living with allergies

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. 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®. The adrenaline autoinjectors are intramuscular injections that contain a single, premeasured 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

Marrickville Public School

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.

At school students learn about the types of foods and drinks needed to stay healthy, to help brains work and to help them feel more alert – just what is needed to get through the school day. So it makes sense that the school canteen is full of healthy food and drink options. Good nutrition is vital to all children and young people, as it helps them to grow and learn. The Healthy School Canteen Strategy is about improving access to healthy food and drink choices and it’s about providing students with the skills and opportunity to learn about healthy food and drink choices and making the healthy choice the right choice. The revised Healthy School Canteen Strategy has the new Food and Drink criteria which categorises food and drink as either Everyday or Occasional. This replaces the traffic light system of Green, Amber and Red foods which made the Fresh Tastes @ School strategy. The Food and Drink criteria follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines that recommend that we eat from the five food groups, vegetables, wholegrain, dairy, fish and meat everyday, and only occasionally eat small amounts of foods containing lots of fat, salt and sugar. Look for the Everyday food and drinks in your canteen – they are easy to spot as they will be at the front of the counter and there will be plenty of fabulous choices. Everyday foods include foods from each of the five food groups. Choose things like sandwiches and wraps filled with salads/cheese/eggs, toasties with apple and cinnamon, rice paper rolls, jacket potatoes, lasagna, burritos with beans and salsa, pizza muffins, fruit and popcorn, just to name a few. The Occasional foods are things like meat pies, sausage rolls, hot chips, crisps, sweet biscuits, processed meats such as salami, cakes, muesli , confectionery, ice cream, desserts and soft drinks. Load up on the everyday and have less occasional food and drinks, because you know it will make you feel better throughout the day. For more information visit healthyschoolcanteens.nsw.gov.au




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DIABETES What is diabetes? Diabetes is characterised by high glucose levels (commonly referred to as sugar levels) in the blood stream, caused by a lack of insulin production, ineffective insulin, or a combination of both. There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2 – their cause and management can be quite different. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, making up 85-90% of all diabetes cases. It mainly affects adults, but can affect young people, even children. It is caused by genetic and lifestyle factors, such as lack of physical activity, poor food choices and excess weight. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the insulin-making cells (beta cells) in the pancreas. The pancreas stops making insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is essential for life, so children with type 1 diabetes need to replace insulin in the body either with several injections a day or via an insulin pump. The majority of children with diabetes have type 1. The onset usually occurs under the age of 30 (and has been known in the past as Juvenile Onset Diabetes), however it can happen at any age. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known. A combination of genetic factors, together with environmental factors, are thought to trigger the autoimmune response. These environmental triggers are largely unknown but likely to be viral and/or chemical. Type 1 diabetes is not contagious or preventable, nor is it caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. This is a common misconception which has, at times, resulted in blaming and shaming students for unhealthy food choices including ‘too much sugar’ or junk food. Nationally, there are over 14,000 school-aged children living with type 1 diabetes, with 4500 of

Signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes • Blurred vision • Being excessively thirsty • Unexplained weight loss • Passing more urine • Mood swings • Feeling tired and lethargic • Headaches • Always feeling hungry • Feeling dizzy • Having cuts that heal slowly • Leg cramps • Itching, skin infections These symptoms may occur suddenly and, if not treated properly, can pose immediate life-threatening health risks. If they occur, see a doctor straightaway. With a simple test, a doctor can find out if your child has type 1 diabetes.

these in NSW.. Recently, Diabetes NSW & ACT rolled out a new diabetes-in-schools education and training program to make it easier for teachers and staff to support children with type 1 diabetes, and give parents confidence that their children will be safe and supported at school. The program covers the safe management of diabetes and ‘normalises’ diabetes in schools so students are not stigmatised. In the school setting, a child must have access to their blood glucose monitoring kit, and hypo kit, at all times. Monitoring blood glucose is not a ‘sick bay’ activity, and must be supported in the classroom. Tending to activities of daily diabetes care in the classroom environment is less disruptive to a child’s learning, and can help other students understand and support a peer living with diabetes.

Learn more about when your child has diabetes

Watch a video about DiaBuddies Day

Diabetes NSW & ACT runs camps and Diabuddies Days for children with type 1 diabetes throughout the year. These are fantastic opportunities for children to meet others with type 1 diabetes and gain confidence in their own diabetes management. It can be an isolating experience for children living with type 1 diabetes, so these events enable children and their families to meet others facing the same challenges and triumphs. They are a chance to celebrate the children’s achievements, while facilitating education, networking and friendships. To find out about upcoming camps or DiaBuddies Days call 1300 342 238 or email events@diabetesnsw.com.au



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The voice of work people in NSW


ASTHMA What is asthma? Asthma is a long-term lung condition. Children with asthma have sensitive lungs which react to triggers, causing a ‘flare-up’. In a flare-up, the muscles around the airway squeeze tight, the airways swell and become narrow and there is more mucus. These things make it harder to breathe. An asthma flare-up can come on slowly (over hours, days or even weeks) or very quickly (over minutes). A sudden or severe asthma flare-up is sometimes known as an asthma attack. 1 in 9 kids have asthma with nearly 500, 000 Australian children 0 – 14 years living with asthma1. In 2015 – 2016, half (51%) of the hospitalisations for asthma in Australia were for children aged 0–14.2 Of this, boys were 1.7 times as likely as girls of the same age to be admitted to hospital for asthma.2 Asthma cannot be cured, but for most children it can be well controlled by following a daily management plan. What are the symptoms of asthma? A child’s asthma symptoms can vary over time sometimes they will have no symptoms, especially when their asthma is well-controlled. Symptoms often vary from child to child, but they are most commonly: • breathlessness • wheezing • tight feeling in the chest • cough Symptoms often occur at night, early in the morning or during/just after activity. They are caused by the narrowing of the airways. If your child’s asthma is well controlled, they should only have occasional asthma symptoms. If your child has symptoms regularly, you should see your child’s doctor for an asthma review. Causes The causes of asthma are not fully understood, although children with asthma often have a family history of asthma, eczema and hay fever. Research has shown that exposure to tobacco smoke (especially as a baby or young child) and obesity can increase the risk of developing asthma. Researchers continue to try to find out more about what causes asthma and how we might prevent it.


Wheezing and coughing in young children Wheezing in babies does not mean they have asthma. More than half of infants who wheeze will stop after about three years of age. This is because these babies have smaller airways, and so they are more likely to make a wheezing noise, especially when they have a cold or flu. This is called ‘viral induced wheeze’. These children also usually don’t have other allergic diseases and have negative results on allergy tests. By about 3 years of age, the airways have grown and widened, and the wheezing often stops. Asthma is more likely to develop in children who continue to wheeze after the age of 3 and have allergies such as eczema, hay fever, runny nose with a cold or whose parents have allergies. It is usually diagnosed over time as the doctor monitors the symptoms and response to treatment. Specific lung function tests (like spirometry tests) are difficult to do in young children.

Learn more about asthma emergency and first aid

Download asthma resource fact sheets

Manage your child’s asthma Managing your child’s asthma means taking control of their health so that they can live a full and active life. While asthma can’t be cured, for most children it can be well controlled, which means hardly any symptoms or flare-ups, or limits to their lifestyle. With the correct knowledge, skills and medication your child can do just about anything - asthma shouldn’t stop them! If your child has asthma, speak to your doctor about a written Asthma Action Plan, device technique checks and preventer medication. For more information on asthma call the 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462) or visit www.asthmaaustralia.org.au

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016; National Health Survey: First Results 2014-15. ABS Cat no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Accessed online: https://www.aihw.

gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/asthma/data .Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2018. Asthma Snapshot Cat. no: ACM 33. Canberra: AIHW. Accessed online: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/







Learn more about Immunisation

Learn more about why on-time immunisation is important

Learn more about how vaccines affect immunity

Learn more about vaccine safety

About Immunisation Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way to protect people against serious diseases. Immunisation not only protects individuals but also others in the community, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those that can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. Immunisation is the most siginificant public health intervention in the last 200 years, providing a safe and effective 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 these preventable diseases have fallen by 99 per cent, even though the Australian population has increased by three times over that period. 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. Worldwide, it has been estimated that immunisation programmes prevent approximately three million deaths each year. For immunisation to provide the greatest benefit, about 95 per cent of the population need to be vaccinated to halt the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause disease - this is called ‘herd immunity’. In NSW, immunisation coverage rates for children are high, with close to 95 per cent of children fully immunised. Without herd immunity, rare diseases could become common again, causing more illness and deaths. How immunisation works Immunisation uses the body’s natural defence mechanism – the immune response – to build resistance to specific bacteria and viruses. 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 or greatly reducing its severity. Why Vaccinate • Vaccination is the best way to protect your child from serious diseases. • By vaccinating you are protecting your child as well as others in the community, including those who are too young to be vaccinated or those that can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons.



• The more people who vaccinate their children, the greater our ability to control serious diseases in the community. Vaccinating on time With 100,000 babies born in NSW annually, it’s important that new parents make sure that their children are vaccinated on time at the recommended milestones. The NSW Immunisation Schedule has been carefully developed to provide children with the earliest possible protection against 13 vaccine preventable diseases. This is particularly important for babies in the first six months of life when they are very vulnerable as their immune system is still developing. If children are vaccinated later than the recommended milestones, then they will be unprotected and therefore be at risk of illness or death themselves and of further spreading disease in the community. 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. 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 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 GP or immunisation service provider. Keeping records Parents will need to provide records of their child’s immunisations for child care, preschool and for school enrolment. An Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) Immunisation History Statement for each child will automatically be sent to parents after the childhood immunisation schedule is completed (sometime after 4 years of age). A copy can also be obtained at any time by: • using the Medicare online account through MyGov • using the Medicare Express Plus App • calling the AIR General Enquiries Line on 1800 653 809. 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 local public health unit on 1300 066 055.

Do you always hold your child’s hand when you’re out and about near roads? On the footpath, crossing the road or in a car park or driveway, always hold your child’s hand until they’re at least 10 years old.

Is your child sitting safely in the right car seat for their age and size? In the car always check your child is buckled up safely in the right car seat for their age and size, and that the car seat is correctly fitted to the car.

Do you check your child’s helmet before they go riding? Make sure your child always wears a correctly fitted helmet and that they ride in a safe place.

Follow your child’s road safety education journey at www.safetytown.com.au



sgfleet Child Safety Handbook 1/4pg ad.indd 1

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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 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.


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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.


Watch a video on Road Safety

Learn more about School Crossings

Learn more about the Road Safety Education Program



We know that car safety matters We know how important it is to keep your little ones safe, whether it’s a trip to the shops or a family holiday. We know that making the right vehicle choice to suit your lifestyle and budget is tricky. That’s where we can help – no matter how far you drive, where you live or what you earn. Fleetcare can design a vehicle lease that keeps your family safe with the latest safety features, while saving you thousands along the way.

Call: 134 333 Visit: fleetcare.com.au/novatedleasing Email: getnovated@fleetcare.com.au fleetcare.com.au



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


• Use hand signal to let drivers know if you’re turning or stopping. • 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 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.

Learn more about Child Carseats

For detailed information on correct child restraint visit childcarseats.com.au OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER: • 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. • 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.

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.




101 Meadows Rd, Mt Pritchard NSW 2170 E @mountiesgroup | Q @mountiesgroup | mountiesgroup.com.au




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 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 carsickprone children. Take regular driver breaks and let the children out to run around. SAFE TRAVEL • Do not leave your children in the car for any period of time without adult supervision. • Provide plenty of cool water or fluids regularly during your journey. • Wear loose fitting, lightweight clothes when travelling in hot weather. • Travel in the cooler hours of the day. • Stop every two hours so all passengers, including children, have an opportunity to move freely. • Adjust restraint harness each time you use it, particularly in summer when children are wearing lightweight clothing. • Be careful using a hood on a

child restraint to protect a child from the sun as it may reduce air flow and lead to over-heating. • A window visor or sunshade may be a better alternative. • On every trip, short or long, take the time to check your children’s safety by re-checking the fit of their harnesses. • Regularly service your car and ensure the air conditioning is working effectively before going on long trips.

MOBILE PHONE USE The dangers of distraction Driving is a complex task. Anything that takes your mind or eyes off the road, or your hands off the wheel, not only compromises your safety, but that of everyone else on the road.

you in danger of failing to see hazards such as traffic lights, stop signs or other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. Make sure you know the rules for mobile use when driving, and take time to find ways to reduce the temptation to use your phone illegally when driving. Our Get your hand off it campaign warns drivers of the dangers of illegal mobile phone use and the serious consequences of taking your eyes off the road.

Learn more about Mobile Phone Use

Watch a video on mobile phone laws

For detailed information on mobile phone use, visit roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov. au/stayingsafe/mobilephones/

Being distracted increases your chances of having a crash. It slows down your reaction times and puts www.childsafetyhub.com.au


ST CSD 2016-554 06/16

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).

STREET SMART Learn more about Driveway Safety

Watch a video on Driveway Safety

DRIVEWAY SAFETY Simple steps can make all the difference

SUPERVISE - When children are around driveways, they 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.


Watch a video on Hot Kids in Cars Safety by Chef Matt Moran

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.


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.


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


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


REDUCE THE RISKS • Never leave a child unattended in a car • 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

WHAT IF I FIND A CHILD UNATTENDED IN A CAR? • Look for the parents or carers. • If they can’t be found, if the child is distressed or you are concerned about the child’s health, don’t delay – call 000 and ask for the Fire Brigade. • Give your location, the vehicle registration number, the approximate age of the child and the condition of the child. • If the car is unlocked, open the doors and shield windows with a blanket etc. • Wait for emergency services, or safely try to remove the child from the vehicle if you are concerned about the child’s condition as every second counts!

Learn more about Kids Unattended in Cars

TRAIN SAFETY • You might not hear a train, especially when using your earphones or mobile phone. N ever 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).

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.

Learn more about Train Safety

Information reproduced with permission of Transport Sydney Trains – www.sydneytrains.info

RAIL CROSSING SAFETY Always cross train tracks using a footbridge or underpass, or at designated pedestrian railway crossings. Crossing anywhere else is illegal and extremely dangerous.

Railway Crossings RA








Left Sign: Railway crossing with traffic lights ahead. Centre & Right Signs: Railway crossing signs.















I SS O W 2










I SS O W 2





Learn more about Railway Crossing Safety

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.




LIGHT RAIL SAFETY When using public transport, stay alert and don’t be distracted by your mobile phone. Allow plenty of travel time and slow down to avoid slips and falls. If you have accessibility requirements, read through the accessible travel information when planning your trip. There are also guidelines for travelling with prams and young children on public transport.

Safety when travelling by light rail Light rail stops and platforms • Keep the pathway clear around you at the stop to allow others to walk past safely. • When waiting on the platform, stand back from the track behind the yellow line. • Wait until the light rail has come to a complete stop before attempting to board. • Never touch a moving vehicle. • If you have dropped something on the track, do not collect it yourself. Use the Emergency Help Point on the platform to receive assistance. • Be cautious when crossing the tracks. Never cross if a vehicle is approaching. Follow the guidelines for level crossing safety. Boarding and travelling on the light rail • Stand back to allow passengers to get off the light



rail before you get on. • If travelling with a pram and young children, hold their hands when boarding to ensure they are not left behind. • Do not board at the rear and front single doors if you have a pram, bike or other large item. Please note that bikes are not allowed on Newcastle light rail. • Mind the gap and be careful getting on and off the light rail. • Take a seat if one is available or hold onto a handrail. • If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of others, or in an emergency, please: • Move away from danger if possible • Alert the driver by using the Emergency Help Point on board • Listen for instructions from the driver

Safety when travelling by metro and train When catching metro and train services, follow these tips and guidelines for a safe trip. If you have accessibility requirements, read through the accessible travel information. Metro video help points Each Metro station will have up to twelve video help points. When the blue button is pressed for general assistance the call will be connected via a video feed


directly to staff at the control centre. When the green emergency button is pressed, the call will be prioritised and a trained operations control centre staff member will respond to your emergency. GUIDELINES FOR STATIONS, PLATFORMS AND ON BOARD THE TRAIN Plan ahead, allow plenty of travel time and slow down to avoid slips and falls. Stay alert and don’t be distracted by your mobile phone. Arrive at your station a few minutes earlier than your timetabled service to allow sufficient time to board your metro or train service. Carriage doors may begin closing up to 20 seconds before the scheduled departure time to assist with punctuality. Other safety tips to follow: • Do not rush through the ticket gates, the doors of the metro, train or lift, as you can get injured. • If you have luggage, use the lifts to get to and from the platform. • When using the escalator, stand to the left and hold onto the side rails. • When waiting on a train platform, stand back from the track behind the yellow line and wait until the train has come to a complete stop. • Do not touch the metro or train doors, or the metro station platform screen doors when they are opening and closing. • Stand back to allow passengers to get off the metro or train before you get on. • Mind the gap when getting on and off the metro or train. • Keep a hold of prams when on board as metro and train services can move suddenly. • Once on board, either take a seat or hold onto the handrail. • Offer your seat to someone who needs it more than you. This includes customers who are older, have a disability, impaired mobility, are pregnant or travelling with children. • Keep your head, arms and legs clear of the aisle when seated. • Try to avoid moving between carriages while a metro or train is moving. If you need to, always take care. • Never attempt to get on or off a moving metro or train: - after the departure whistle has blown - when the “doors closing” signal sounds - when the station staff announce the trains doors closing. • If you are concerned about your safety or others: - move away from the danger into another carriage - use the Emergency Help Points to alert staff and listen for instructions.

Travelling with prams and children • If you have a pram, use the lifts to get to and from the platform. • When travelling with young children, hold their hands on platforms, escalators and when getting on and off the train. • Always keep a firm hold of your pram at the station. Ensure the brake is on and the pram is parked parallel to the train tracks. • Never leave children, luggage or packages unattended on station platforms. Plan ahead and follow our guidelines for travelling with prams and young children on public transport. Security on the rail network • There are more than 10,000 CCTV cameras across the train network in NSW and more than 1,340 CCTV cameras across the Sydney Metro network, with 38 CCTV cameras on each metro train. • Police and transport officers regularly patrol metro and train services and stations. • On Friday and Saturday nights between 3.00pm and 6.00am, Police Transport Command officers both in high visibility uniforms and plain clothing, patrol public transport to improve security and reduce crime. • For safety, sit near other passengers at the station and on the train. • On the train, sit near the guard’s compartment indicated with the blue light. • On the platform, stand in an area covered by CCTV and close to Emergency Help Points. If travelling at night, stand where it is brightly lit. • If you’re using a station car park and plan to return after dark, try to park in a well-lit area close to the station entrance. Make sure all of the windows are locked and valuables are out of sight. Turn your car alarm on. • If you see bad behaviour or feel unsafe, inform staff straight away. • In an emergency, call 000 or use the Emergency Help Points to speak to staff for assistance. • Emergency Help Points are located on metro trains and trains and at least one fitted at each station. • If you need immediate help, please contact the police on 000 or talk with staff.

Learn more about Light Rail Safety

Watch a video on Light Rail Safety

Download brochure: Heads Up - Play it safe around Light Rail

Learn more about the Sydney Metro





Learn more about Bus Safety

Watch a video on Bus Safety

Download brochure: Bus Safety for School Students

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. 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 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 Learn more about 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, 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.




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.

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.

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 enforcement 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.

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.

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 www.childsafetyhub.com.au


Don’t touch it, report it. UXO.

Curiosity Can Kill You. You need to understand the real danger of unexploded ordnance (UXO). If you touch UXO like an old bomb, bullet or hand grenade - it could seriously injure or even kill you. You must know - Don’t Touch It!

Report it to the Police on OOO

www.defence.gov.au/uxo 72


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, broadspectrum 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 long-sleeved 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 broad-brimmed 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.

Learn more about Sun Safety

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. 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




Learn more about Beach Safety

Watch The Facts about Rip Currents video

Learn How to Spot a Rip

Learn How to Survive a Rip

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.


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. 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.

Learn more about Wearing a Lifejacket

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



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 offroad 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


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 selfesteem. 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 nonpet 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.

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





Learn more about 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 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. 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. 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 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. 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.


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.

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.

For more information visit “drinkwise.org.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au


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NSW Child Safety Handbook - 2019 First Edition