40 Summer Edition 2017/18
Child Safety HANDBOOK A RESOURCE FOR PARENTS, CARERS AND TEACHERS
Proudly brought to you by Victoria Police Legacy
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MESSAGE FROM HER EXCELLENCY, THE HONOURABLE LINDA DESSAU AM, GOVERNOR OF VICTORIA Victoria Police Legacy, of which I am honoured to be Patron-in-Chief, continues its invaluable support and service to the community through this, its first ever Child Safety Handbook. A thorough and informative resource for us all, this handbook reminds us of the attention we should pay to both the obvious and the less obvious safety hazards that face the children around us. The thoughtfully designed material shows us not only how to prevent risky situations, but also how to act when threats or dangerous situations do present themselves. To those who have collated the valuable information within this book, and to Victoria Police Legacy, I offer my congratulations and appreciation for the production of a fine resource for everyone involved in the care of children. The Honourable Linda Dessau AM Governor of Victoria
HOW TO USE THE ICONS IN THIS APP Tap icons below in each section to navigate to website, videos, brochures or apps to keep up to date with the latest safety messages. Remember child safety is no accident!
Links to an external website
Links to video
Links to pdf information
Link to download app for your smart phone / tablet
. Know the righ USEFUL CONTACTS
TRIPLE ZERO (000) FOR POLICE, FIRE OR AMBULANCE
1800 333 000 CRIME STOPPERS
132 500 FOR FLOOD, STORM, TSUNAMI AND EARTHQUAKE
Remember to save these numbers to your phon NAME
A Alannah & Madeline Foundation
03 9697 0666
Alcohol & Drug Information & Counselling Service (24 hours)
1800 888 236
Alcoholics Anonymous Australia
03 94291833 / 1300 AA HOPE
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
Maritime and Aviation Rescue
(03) 9674 3000
1300 789 978 (24/7)
Mental Health Foundation Victoria
Metropolitan Fire Brigade
(03) 9662 2311
Mission Australia Help Line
13 11 14
National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline
1800 880 052
National Security Hotline
1800 123 400
No to Violence
1300 766 491
Nurse on Call
1300 606 024
1800 880 176
O Office of the e-Safety Commissioner
B Beyond Blue
1300 22 4636
Bullying No Way
13 22 89
Poisons Information Centre
131 126 (24 hours)
1800 240 667
Child Protection Helpline
131 278 (24/7)
Country Fire Authority
(03) 9262 8444
Quitline – for counselling
Crime Stoppers Hotline
1800 333 000
Bushfire Information Line C
D (03) 9341 1040
Domestic Violence Line
1800 015 188
Raising Children Network
Dental Hospital Service (Emergency Only)
Rape & Domestic Violence Counselling Line
1800 737 732 / 1800 RESPECT
1300 364 277
Salvation Army Care Line
13 72 58 / 13 SALVOS
State Emergency Service Information Line
1300 842 737
Sexual Assault Crisis Line
1800 806 292
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467
Gender Centre (services for people with gender issues)
(02) 9569 2366
I I can Quit
13 7848 (13 QUIT)
1300 309 988
www.mfb.vic.gov.au/Community/ Safety-Programs/Fire-Awareness. html
J Juvenile Fire Awareness and Intervention Program K Kids Help Line
1800 55 1800
13 11 14 (24 hours)
L Life Line
13 7848 (13 QUIT)
T The Royal Children's Hospital
(03) 9345 5522
Translating and Interpreting Service
13 14 50 (interpreter over the telephone)
W Women's Refuges and Shelters
MESSAGE FROM THE MINISTER FOR POLICE THE HON. LISA NEVILLE MP Children today live in an environment characterised by opportunity and change. This environment can be an incredibly rewarding one. But it can also present new challenges and risks. We all have a responsibility to keep children safe and well, and give them the best possible start in life. The Child Safety Handbook provides all of usâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;parents, carers and the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with valuable information to help do just that. The handbook covers a wide range of safety risks and provides practical, clear advice about preventing and responding to harmful situations in all the places that children live, learn and play. As parents, teachers, carers and community members, it is important to keep our knowledge up to date, to help children of all ages to thrive in a rapidly changing world. In particular, I welcome the inclusion of information about cyber safety. Congratulations to Victoria Police Legacy and all the contributors for producing such a useful and timely resource for the Victorian community. The Hon. Lisa Neville MP Minister for Police Victoria
FOREWORD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; POLICE LEGACY CHAIRPERSON Victoria 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 that confront them. This is the second Child Safety Handbook Victoria Police Legacy has published and it gives me great pleasure that we can provide this updated and outstanding reference guide. Victoria Police Legacy supports the children and families of deceased Police and Protective Service Officers across Victoria. I would like to extend our gratitude to the organisations whose advertising in this handbook has made it possible to produce the Child Safety Handbook. Lauren Callaway Superintendent - Victoria Police Chairperson
MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER GRAHAM ASHTON AM The world is an exciting place for children to explore. We all want our children to enjoy a happy and nurturing childhood, and to develop a sense of confidence to engage and participate in the community. Nowadays more than ever, our children are exposed to a range of influences from an early age, and it’s essential that we have the tools to keep them safe and protect them from harm. This handbook provides a great range of tips for parents and communities, to engage with children and prevent harm before it occurs. It’s important that we talk to children about their safety, and encourage them to speak up if something doesn’t seem quite right. I would particularly encourage parents to read the advice about online safety, and take the time to familiarise themselves with the virtual environments popular amongst young people. Knowledge is the best tool we have in understanding how to engage safely online and reduce risks. I support the work of Victoria Police Legacy in developing this handbook, and offer the ongoing commitment of Victoria Police to ensuring child safety. Graham Ashton AM Chief Commissioner of Victoria
STUDENT WELLBEING HUB Feeling safe and supported is the right of everyone in the school community. The resources available on the Student Wellbeing Hub help to create learning communities that promote student wellbeing and the development of respectful relationships. The Hub is guided by the principles of the National Safe Schools Framework, which highlight the importance of educators, parents and students working together. We can make a difference, starting now.
NATIONAL SAFE SCHOOLS FRAMEWORK 1. Leadership commitment to a safe school Leadership is integral to the safety and wellbeing of all members of the school community. School leaders work within and beyond the boundaries of the school to establish policies, programs and procedures that ensure a safe, supportive and respectful learning community. 2. A supportive and connected school culture Students feel safe in a school community that promotes and acts on positive values, is inclusive of cultural diversity and fosters positive, caring and respectful relationships between all members of the school community. 3. Policies and procedures The creation of a safe school is de-
pendent upon the development and implementation of clear policies and procedures, drafted, refined and reviewed in collaboration with teachers, parents, carers and students. Shared understanding and ownership of these policies and procedures helps to support student safety and wellbeing. 4. Professional learning Professional learning leads to capacity building, so that teachers use the knowledge, skills and strategies they have developed to support the safety and wellbeing of all members of the school community. This professional learning needs to be extended to casual, specialist and visiting staff. 5. Positive behaviour management A safe school is one that takes action to promote and recognise positive student behaviour, ensure student safety and minimise risk. School leaders, teachers and families can all contribute to the positive behaviour management of students inside and outside the classroom. Students themselves play an important role in creating and maintaining a safe and supportive school environment. 6. Engagement, skill development and safe school curriculum Three interrelated features of learning and teaching are essential for a safe school: student engagement, which creates awareness of safety and well-
studentwellbeinghub.edu.au being issues; a safe school curriculum, which builds studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; understanding of respectful, positive relationships; and cooperative and relational skills, which support appropriate social and emotional behaviour. 7. A focus on student wellbeing and student ownership Students play a powerful role in the development and maintenance of a safe school. They can make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of all students in the school, their families and members of the broader community. Through assuming ownership for their own safety and wellbeing, as well as that of others, students develop a sense of connectedness and add meaning and purpose to their lives. 8. Early intervention and targeted support Early intervention and targeted support are essential elements of a safe school. Identifying â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;at riskâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; students is the first important step in the development of strategies and processes that provide ongoing support to these students and their families. 9. Partnerships with families and community Key partnerships with families, community organisations and justice system staff help to create a consistent and supportive approach to safety and wellbeing.
CONTENTS Foreword by VIC Governor 1 Useful Contacts 2 Foreword by VIC Minister 3 for Police Foreword by VIC Commissioner 4 of Police Foreword by NSW Police Legacy 4 Chairman of Police Foreword by VIC Premier 5 National Safe Schools 6 Framework SAFETY AT SCHOOL
8 - 11
Bullying What is Bullying? What is not Bullying? Bullying is not acceptable Bullying roles How do I know if my child is being bullied? Impact on students who are bullied Impact on bullies Impact on bystanders Impact on schools What people who have been bullied can do PERSONAL SAFETY
12 - 15
Child Abuse What is child abuse? Physical abuse Sexual abuse Emotional abuse Neglect How can abuse and neglect be recognised? Behavioural indicators What are the causes of child abuse? Helping children who have been sexually abused If the child discloses sexual abuse to you Reporting child abuse SAFETY AT HOME
16 - 31
Home Alone Answering the phone Answering the door Parent’s guide to online safety Cyberbullying Trolling Too much time online Inappropriate, offensive & illegal content Safeguards Help and resources Window Safety Checklist Button battery safety Blind and curtain cord safety Toppling Furniture First Aid Allergic Reactions Asthma Attacks Bleeding Poisoning Sprains & Strains
Cuts & Bruises First aid for cuts Burns & Scalds First aid for burns and scalds DRSABCD action plan Choking Safe Play in Backyards Surfacing Swings Trampolines Cubby houses Water safety Safety with dogs Gas barbecue safety tips Tips for maintaining your barbecue Safe in the sun How safe is your pool barrier? FIRE, FLOOD, STORM, 32 - 43 TSUNAMI & QUAKE SAFETY Fire Safety Kitchen and Cooking Smoke Alarm Home escape plan Pets and bushfires Plan and prepare – your bushfire plan Flood, Storm, Tsunami & Quake safety Floodsafe Stormsafe Quakesafe HEALTH AND SAFETY
44 - 51
Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Mental health difficulties Risk and protective factors for children’s mental health What kinds of mental health difficulties do children experience? Dental health Brushing teeth: getting started Brushing teeth: steps Healthy eating forchildren Teach your child healthy habits for a healthy life What are the dietary Guidelines? Foods to limit: discretionary choices Encouraging healthy habits Serve sizes Food allergy or intolerance? Signs & Symptoms Anaphylaxis Food Diagnosis Management & Treatment Common Food Allergy signs and symptoms Immunisation Pre-immunisation checklist Side effects after immunisation Concerns about side effects of immunisation STREET SMART Keeping safe in crowds Dealing with Strangers Road safety
53 - 63
Pedestrian safety Cyclist safety Safety in cars Choosing and using the safest restraint for your child Kids in hot cars Mobile phones, technology & driving Travelling with children Tram safety Train safety OUTDOOR SAFETY
65 - 71
Playground safety Safety on trampolines Local council playgrounds Kids on farms Play safety Water safety Vehicle safety Safety around animals Other farm hazards Farm Water Safety Water Awareness Keep Watch @ The Farm Beach Safety Sun Safety Suncreen What is SPF? Boating safety DRUG AWARENESS
72 - 73
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, advertising CILTA AWARDS by Associated Media G Produced, published and distributed on behalf of Victoria Police Legacy by: Associated Media Group Pty Ltd 33-35 Atchison Street St Leonards NSW 2065 T: 02 8416 5294 www.amgroup.net.au To support future editions of this handbook T: 02 8416 5294 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © Victoria Police Legacy Ltd
Summer Edition 2017/18 DISCLAIMER: This publication is issued on terms and understanding that: (a) the publisher, Victoria 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, Victoria Police Legacy, authors and editors expressly disclaim all and any liability and responsibility to any person, whether a purchaser or reader of this publication or not, in respect of anything, and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication.
SAFETY AT SCHOOL BULLYING WHAT IS BULLYING? There are some specific types of bullying behaviour: • verbal or written abuse - such as targeted name-calling or jokes, or displaying offensive posters • violence - including threats of violence • sexual harassment - unwelcome or unreciprocated conduct of a sexual nature, which could reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or intimidation • homophobia and other hostile behaviour towards students relating to gender and sexuality • discrimination including racial discrimination - treating people differently because of their identity • cyberbullying - either online or via mobile phone. WHAT IS NOT BULLYING? There are also some behaviours, which, although they might be unpleasant or distressing, are not bullying: • mutual conflict - which involves a disagreement, but not an imbalance of power. Unresolved mutual conflict can develop into bullying if one of the parties targets the other repeatedly in retaliation. • single-episode acts of nastiness or physical aggression, or aggression directed towards many different people, is not bullying • social rejection or dislike is not bullying unless it involves deliberate and repeated attempts to cause distress, exclude or create dislike by others. BULLYING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE It is important to recognise bullying behaviours and make it clear they are unacceptable, but it is also important to try not to label students as ‘a bully’. 8
Most students don’t want bullying to occur but often don’t know what to do about it. It’s important that all forms of bullying are taken seriously and that schools, parents and students work together to ensure that everyone understands that bullying is not acceptable - ever. BULLYING ROLES People in a bullying scenario may take on one of the following roles: • a person who engages in bullying behaviour • a target who is subjected to the bullying behaviour • an assistant who assists the bullying behaviour and actively joins in • a supporter who encourages and gives silent approval to the bullying, by smiling, laughing or making comments • a silent bystander who sees or knows about someone being bullied but is passive and does nothing, this may be an adult bystander • a defender who supports the student who is being bullied by intervening, getting teacher support or comforting them. All adults, including teachers, school staff and parents, should model positive bystander behaviour and intervene if they observe bullying behaviour occurring between students. Standing by and doing nothing, or leaving students to ‘sort it out’ themselves, sends the message to the whole school community that the bullying behaviour is being condoned. Young people are still learning and practicing social skills. Everyone has the capacity to change their behaviour but being given a label can stick and make these changes much harder. IMPACT ON STUDENTS WHO ARE BULLIED Bullying has a negative impact on everyone involved; the target, the
bully and the bystanders. Students who are bullied are more likely to: • feel disconnected from school and not like school • have lower academic outcomes, including lower attendance and completion rates • lack quality friendships at school • display high levels of emotion that indicate vulnerability and low levels of resilience • be less well accepted by peers, avoid conflict and be socially withdrawn • have low self-esteem • have depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and isolation • have nightmares • feel wary or suspicious of others • have an increased risk of depression and substance abuse • in extreme cases, have a higher risk of suicide, however, the reasons why a person may be at risk of suicide are extremely complicated. Contributing factors to being bullied may include: • depression • family problems • history of trauma • belonging to a minority group, where isolation or lack of community support is an issue.
SAFETY AT SCHOOL
Learn more about bullying
IMPACT ON BULLIES Students who frequently bully others are more likely to: • feel disconnected from school and dislike school • get into fights, vandalise property and leave school early. In addition, recent Victorian research has shown that bullying perpetration in Year 10 is associated with an increased likelihood of theft, violent behaviour and binge drinking. IMPACT ON BYSTANDERS Students who witness bullying may: • be reluctant to attend school • feel fearful or powerless to act and guilty for not acting • have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety • have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. IMPACT ON SCHOOLS When bullying continues and a school does not take action, the entire school climate and culture can be negatively affected. This impacts on student learning and engagement, staff retention and satisfaction and parental confidence in the school, which can lead to: • the school developing an environment of fear and disrespect
• students experiencing difficulty learning • students feeling insecure • students disliking school • students perceiving that teachers and staff have little control and don’t care about them.
home and school is important. You can always let your child know later what actions you have taken. Let the school take responsibility for helping students who are bullying to change their ways.
For more information visit www.education.vic.gov.au
Keep your child safe You should contact the school immediately if your child’s safety is at risk.
MY CHILD IS BEING BULLIED Take the bullying incident seriously and know that your child’s school will too. Stay calm and positive It can be upsetting when your child is being bullied. Focus on identifying a solution with your child. A confident, positive and resilient appearance can stop bullying from continuing. It might be helpful to draw on your own networks to get support for yourself while you are helping your child. Talk with the school You do not need to ask your child’s permission to talk to the school. Understandably, children who are being bullied are often fearful and worry that any action will worsen the problem. The solution is to make a parental decision to talk to the school. A consistent and co-operative approach by both the
Talk with your child Encourage your child to talk about what happened. If they want to try to deal with the bullying themselves, discuss these strategies and set a short period of time to see if they can resolve the situation. Tell your child that reporting the bullying is okay. Assure your child that it is not their fault. Encourage your child to: • try to act unimpressed or unaffected • use other strategies to diffuse the situation (e.g. agreeing in an offhand way with the bullying when they say offensive or negative things - this is known as fogging) • say ‘No!’ firmly • talk to the teacher or another staff member, e.g. school guidance officer • act confidently even when they don’t feel it.
What people who have been bullied can do While the people doing the bullying need to be firmly and clearly assisted to change their behaviours, those who have been bullied also need be re-empowered so they are equipped for the future. Some people who have been bullied believe the negative messages about them and feel ashamed. It is important to help de-personalise the bullying. Often we discuss bullying as a primitive, nasty behaviour used to assert dominance at someone else’s expense. Many people bully others because they feel bad about themselves. For this reason we explain bullying to people who have experienced it as ‘nasty monkey’ behaviour. Immature primates engage in dom-
inating behaviours. When unsupervised and in conditions where there is an opportunity to inflate individual social position, many will be tempted to exploit the vulnerability of others. This helps people who have been bullied to see that the bullying is not their fault. This is followed with training in deflection techniques so students are not overly reactive or sensitive to future taunts or negative comments. Students are then helped to refocus on strengthening other social connections and interests. The other part of dealing with bullying is to create a school culture, which makes bullying uncool and empowers others who witnesses to bullying and to make a stand.
HOW PARENTS CAN SUPPORT • Take the bullying incident seriously and also know that your child’s school will. • Let the school take responsibility for helping students who are bullying to change their ways. • Take your child’s distress seriously but also convey a message that ‘we are going to fix this’. • Help them to de-personalise the message given to them by bullies by saying things like; “That is not true—they are just being mean.” or “Just because they say that doesn’t mean it’s true— there are lots of people who know how wonderful you are.”
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IS YOUR CHILD IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT? As a parent, you are frequently choosing activities, services or programs for your child. It is important to know that your child is safe. As a community we all have an obligation to do the best we can to keep children safe from harm and abuse. Victorian organisations that provide services or facilities for children are required by law to implement Child Safe Standards to protect children from harm. Go to our website www.ccyp.vic.gov.au for more information.
SAFETY AT SCHOOL
Practise some strategies at home with your child to help them to: • stand and walk in a way that appears more confident • give a quick reply to surprise or disarm the other child • use a routine response (e.g. okay, whatever) that implies that the child is not bothered. Talk about what we know doesn’t work with bullying: • fighting back • bullying the bully • ignoring it • playing with a different group of friends • remaining silent about the problem. Talk to your child about the tips and advice offered on the student section of this website. Give them the Kids Helpline telephone number 1800 55 1800 to use if they ask to talk to someone other than the school, or you don’t feel able to support them. Say no to fighting Do not advise your child to fight with the other child. Fighting (as distinct from defending themselves from a physical attack) with the other child can escalate the situation and your child may be reprimanded for their part in a fight. Seek help for your child Seek help for your child to recover from and understand the bullying incidents and give them the chance to improve their social skills. A child who has been bullied can be at greater risk than others of being bullied again (even when the bullying has been dealt with). Knowing how to deal with bullying and difficult people not just at school but throughout life in social situations and at work is a basic life survival skill. Warning Signs of Bullying Changes in mood, behaviour and physical appearance can all be warning signs of being bullied, however, some students may not display any warning signs at all. Warning signs at school If a student is being bullied at school they may:
• become aggressive and unreasonable • start to get into fights • refuse to talk about what is wrong • have unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches, particularly those appearing after recess or lunch • have missing or damaged belongings or clothes • have falling school grades • be alone often or excluded from friendship groups at school • show a change in the their ability or willingness to speak up in class • appear insecure or frightened • be a frequent target for teasing, mimicking or ridicule. Warning signs at home A parent may observe changes in their child’s behaviour at home which they can report to the school. Their child may: • have trouble getting out of bed • not want to go to school • change their method or route to school or become frightened of walking to school • change their sleeping or eating patterns • have frequent tears, anger, mood swings and anxiety • have unexplained bruises, cuts and scratches • have stomach aches or unexplained pain • have missing or damaged belongings or clothes • ask for extra pocket money or food • arrive home hungry • show an unwillingness to discuss, or secrecy about, their online communication.
will be achieved by you and the school working together. BULLYING OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL If bullying happens online or via text messages outside school report it to the school, especially if other children from the school are involved or it is making your child uncomfortable at school. Schools are aware of the potential harmful effects of bullying, including cyberbullying, on young people and take reports of bullying seriously. Talk to your school immediately The sooner the school receives information about a bullying issue the quicker they can respond. School staff understand that it can be distressing to report that your child is being bullied. They will try to support you and your child as much as possible and include you in discussions about strategies that could be used.
TALK TO YOUR SCHOOL If you are concerned your child is being bullied, harassed or physically hurt, talk to your school.
WHAT SHOULD I DO? • Contact the school and make an appointment to discuss the issue. • Do not directly approach any other student or their family. • Ask the school for a copy of your school’s policies and any handouts on bullying. • Work with your child’s school to solve the problem by establishing a plan for dealing with the current situation and future bullying incidents. Schools must follow privacy laws and may not be able to tell you everything that has taken place, especially about any other children involved. These laws also keep you and your child’s information private too.
SCHOOLS CAN HELP A safe and supportive school environment can help prevent bullying. Students should feel and be safe everywhere at school: in the classrooms, the library, the toilets, the bus, and the playground. Everyone at school can work together to create an environment where bullying is not acceptable. The best outcomes for your child
CONTACTS Parentline Victoria Parentline is a confidential and anonymous phone counselling service for parents and carers of children and teenagers in Victoria. We offer counselling, information and support around a range of parenting issues. 13 22 89 Parentline available 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. www.childsafetyhub.com.au
PERSONAL SAFETY CHILD ABUSE This section will help you to understand the different types of abuse and recognise the possible physical and behavioural indicators. PHYSICAL CHILD ABUSE What is physical child abuse? Physical child abuse can consist of any non-accidental infliction of physical violence on a child by any person. Examples of physical abuse may include beating, shaking or burning, assault with implements and female genital mutilation (FGM). What are the physical indicators of physical child abuse? Physical indicators of physical child abuse include (but are not limited to): • bruises or welts on facial areas and other areas of the body, e.g. back, bottom, legs, arms and inner thighs • bruises or welts in unusual configurations, or those that look like the object used to make the injury, e.g. fingerprints, handprints, buckles, iron or teeth • burns from boiling water, oil or flames or burns that show the shape of the object used to make them, e.g. iron, grill, cigarette • fractures of the skull, jaw, nose and limbs (especially those not consistent with the explanation offered, or the type of injury possible at the child’s age of development) • cuts and grazes to the mouth, lips, gums, eye area, ears and external genitalia • bald patches where hair has been pulled out • multiple injuries, old and new • effects of poisoning • internal injuries What are the behavioural indicators of physical child abuse? Behavioural indicators of physical 12
child abuse include (but are not limited to): • disclosure of an injury inflicted by someone else (parent, carer or guardian), or an inconsistent or unlikely explanation or inability to remember the cause of injury • unusual fear of physical contact with adults • aggressive behaviour • disproportionate reaction to events • wearing clothes unsuitable for weather conditions to hide injuries • wariness or fear of a parent, carer or guardian • reluctance to go home • no reaction or little emotion displayed when being hurt or threatened • habitual absences from school without reasonable explanation • overly compliant, shy, withdrawn, passive and uncommunicative • unusually nervous, hyperactive, aggressive, disruptive and destructive to self and/or others • poor sleeping patterns, fear of the dark or nightmares and regressive behaviour, e.g. bed-wetting • drug or alcohol misuse, suicide or self-harm CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE What is child sexual abuse? Child sexual abuse: • is when a person uses power or authority over a child to involve them in sexual activity • can include a wide range of sexual activity including fondling the child’s genitals, oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger or other object, or exposure of the child to pornography. Child sexual abuse may not always include physical sexual contact (e.g. kissing or fondling a child in a sexual way, masturbation, oral sex or penetration)
and can also include non-contact offences, for example: • talking to a child in a sexually explicit way • sending sexual messages or emails to a child • exposing a sexual body part to a child • forcing a child to watch a sexual act (including showing pornography to a child) • having a child pose or perform in a sexual manner (including child sexual exploitation). Child sexual abuse does not always involve force. In some circumstances a child may be manipulated in to believing that they have brought the abuse on themselves, or that the abuse is an expression of love through a process of grooming. What is child sexual exploitation? Child sexual exploitation is also a form of sexual abuse where offenders use their power (physical, financial or emotional) over a child to sexually or emotionally abuse them.
It often involves situations and relationships where young people receive something (food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money etc.) in return for participating in sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur in person or online, and sometimes the child may not even realise they are a victim. For more information on sexting and the transmission of sexual images between students, see: Bully Stoppers - Sexting Who is most at risk of child sexual abuse? Any child can be victim to sexual abuse, however children who are vulnerable, isolated and/or have a disability are much more likely to become victim, and are disproportionately abused. Who are the common perpetrators of child sexual abuse? Child sexual abuse is most commonly perpetrated by someone who is known to, and trusted by the child (and often someone highly trusted within their families, communities, schools and/or other institutions). See: advice on identifying perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Perpetrators can include (but are not limited to): • a family member. This is known as intra family abuse and can include sibling abuse. • a school staff member, coach or other carer • a peer/child 10 years or over* • a family friend or stranger • any person via a forced marriage (where a student is subject to a marriage without their consent, arranged for by their immediate or extended family - this constitutes a criminal offence and must be reported) * Unwanted sexual behaviour toward a student by a person 10 years or over can constitute a sexual offence and is referred to as student-to-student sexual offending. Please note that a child who is under 10 years of age is not considered to be capable of committing an offence. Any suspected
sexual behaviour displayed by children under 10 is referred to as problem sexual behaviour.
• promiscuity • wearing layers of clothing to hide injuries and bruises
What are the physical indicators of child sexual abuse? PHYSICAL indicators of sexual abuse include (but are not limited to): • injury to the genital or rectal area, e.g. bruising, bleeding, discharge, inflammation or infection • injury to areas of the body such as breasts, buttocks or upper thighs • discomfort in urinating or defecating • presence of foreign bodies in the vagina and/or rectum • sexually-transmitted diseases • frequent urinary tract infections • pregnancy, especially in very young adolescents • anxiety-related illnesses, e.g. anorexia or bulimia
How can I identify perpetrators of child sexual abuse? In addition to identifying the physical and behavioural signs of abuse within children, you can play a critical role in identifying signs that a member of the school community may be engaging in child sexual abuse, or grooming a child for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. Most critically you must follow the Four Critical Actions for Schools if you • feel uncomfortable about the way an adult interacts with a child/children, and/or • suspect that the adult may be engaging in sexual abuse of a child/children, and/or • suspect that the adult is grooming the child/children for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity, and/or • reasonably believe that the adult is at risk of engaging in sexual behaviour with a child/ children.
What are the behavioural indicators of child sexual abuse? BEHAVIOURAL indicators of sexual abuse include (but are not limited to): • disclosure of sexual abuse, either directly (from the alleged victim) or indirectly (by a third person or allusion) • persistent and age-inappropriate sexual activity, e.g. excessive masturbation or rubbing genitals against adults • drawings or descriptions in stories that are sexually explicit and not age-appropriate • fear of home, specific places or particular adults • poor/deteriorating relationships with adults and peers • poor self-care or personal hygiene • complaining of headaches, stomach pains or nausea without physiological basis • sleeping difficulties • regressive behaviour, e.g. bed-wetting or speech loss • depression, self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse, prostitution or attempted suicide • sudden decline in academic performance, poor memory and concentration
GROOMING What is grooming? Grooming is when a person engages in predatory conduct to prepare a child for sexual activity at a later time. Grooming can include communicating and/or attempting to befriend or establish a relationship or other emotional connection with the child or their parent/carer. Sometimes it is hard to see when someone is being groomed until after they have been sexually abused, because some grooming behaviour can look like “normal” caring behaviour. Examples of grooming behaviours may include: • giving gifts or special attention to a child or their parent or carer (this can make a child feel special or indebted to an adult) • controlling a child through threats, force or use of authority (this can make a child fearful to report unwanted behaviour) www.childsafetyhub.com.au
• making close physical contact sexual, such as inappropriate tickling and wrestling • openly or pretending to accidentally expose the victim to nudity, sexual material and sexual acts (this in itself is classified as child sexual abuse but can also be a precursor to physical sexual assault). What is online grooming? Online grooming is a criminal offence and occurs when an adult uses electronic communication (including social media) in a predatory fashion to try to lower a child’s inhibitions, or heighten their curiosity regarding sex, with the aim of eventually meeting them in person for the purposes of sexual activity. This can include online chats, sexting, and other interactions. Online grooming can also precede online child exploitation, a form of sexual abuse where adults use the internet or a mobile to communicate sexual imagery with or of a child (e.g. via a webcam). Any incidents of suspected online child exploitation must be reported. For more information about: • child exploitation - new resources coming soon • online grooming, see: Bully Stoppers - Online Grooming • sexting and the transmission of sexual images between students, see: Bully Stoppers Sexting What are the behavioural indicators that a child may be subject to grooming? BEHAVIOURAL indicators that a child may be subject to grooming include (but are not limited to): • developing an unusually close connection with an older person • displaying mood changes (hyperactive, secretive, hostile, aggressive, impatient, resentful, anxious, withdrawn, depressed) • using street/different language; copying the way the new ‘friend’ may speak; talking about the new ‘friend’ who does not belong to his/her normal 14
social circle • possessing jewellery, clothing or expensive items given by the ‘friend’ • possessing large amounts of money which he/she cannot account for • using a new mobile phone (given by the ‘friend’) excessively to make calls, videos or send text messages • being excessively secretive about their use of communications technologies, including social media • frequently staying out overnight, especially if the relationship is with an older person • being dishonest about where they’ve been and whom they’ve been with • using drugs; physical evidence includes spoons, silver foil, ‘tabs’, ‘rocks’ etc • assuming a new name; being in possession of a false ID, stolen passport or driver’s license provided by the ‘friend’ to avoid detection • being picked up in a car by the ‘friend’ from home/school or ‘down the street’ EMOTIONAL CHILD ABUSE What is emotional abuse? Emotional child abuse occurs when a child is repeatedly rejected, isolated or frightened by threats, or by witnessing family violence. It also includes hostility, derogatory name-calling and put-downs, and persistent coldness from a person, to the extent that the child suffers, or is likely to suffer, emotional or psychological harm to their physical or developmental health. Emotional abuse may occur with or without other forms of abuse. What are the physical indicators of emotional child abuse? PHYSICAL indicators of emotional abuse include (but are not limited to): • speech disorders such as language delay, stuttering or selectively being mute (only speaking with certain people or in certain situations)
• delays in emotional, mental or physical development What are the behavioural indicators of emotional child abuse? BEHAVIOURAL indicators of emotional abuse include (but are not limited to): • overly compliant, passive and undemanding behaviour • extremely demanding, aggressive and attention-seeking behaviour or anti-social and destructive behaviour • low tolerance or frustration • poor self-image and low self-esteem
REPORTING CHILD ABUSE For those who are concerned about a child in relation to child abuse or neglect to making a report to child protection services in Victoria. Protective Concerns You are concerned about a child because you have: • Received a disclosure from a child about abuse or neglect • Observed indicators of abuse or neglect • Been made aware of possible harm via your involvement in the community external to your professional role At all times remember to: • Record your observations • Follow appropriate protocols • Consult notes and records • Consult with appropriate colleagues if necessary • Consult with other support agencies if necessary Child abuse is a serious problem. In Victoria, if you suspect a case of child abuse or are mandated to report abuse, then you can contact Child Protection for advice. For immediate help To report concerns that are life threatening call Victoria Police 000. To report concerns about the immediate safety of a child within their family unit, call the Child Protection Crisis Line 13 12 78 (24 hours, 7 days a week, toll free within Victoria) For more information visit Department of Human Services - www.dhs.vic.gov.au
• unexplained mood swings, depression, self-harm or suicidal thoughts • behaviours that are not age-appropriate, e.g. overly adult, or overly infantile • fear of failure, overly high standards, and excessive neatness • poor social and interpersonal skills • violent drawings or writing • lack of positive social contact with other children NEGLECT What is neglect? Neglect includes a failure to provide the child with an adequate standard of nutrition, medical care, clothing, shelter or supervision to the extent that the health or physical development of the child is significantly impaired or placed at serious risk. In some circumstances the neglect of a child: • can place the child’s immediate safety and development at serious risk • may not immediately compromise the safety of the child, but is likely to result in longer term cumulative harm. Both these forms of neglect must be responded to via the Four Critical Actions for Schools: Responding to Incidents, Disclosures or Suspicions of Child Abuse. What are the physical indicators of neglect? PHYSICAL indicators of neglect include (but are not limited to): • appearing consistently dirty and unwashed • being consistently inappropriately dressed for weather conditions • being at risk of injury or harm due to consistent lack of adequate supervision from parents • being consistently hungry, tired and listless • having unattended health problems and lack of routine medical care • having inadequate shelter and unsafe or unsanitary conditions
What are the behavioural indicators of neglect? BEHAVIOURAL indicators of neglect include (but are not limited to): • gorging when food is available or inability to eat when extremely hungry • begging for or stealing food • appearing withdrawn, listless, pale and weak • aggressive behaviour, irritability • involvement in criminal activity • little positive interaction with parent, carer or guardian • poor socialising habits • excessive friendliness towards strangers • indiscriminate acts of affection • poor, irregular or non-attendance at school • staying at school for long hours and refusing or being reluctant to go home • self-destructive behaviour • taking on an adult role of caring for parent FAMILY VIOLENCE What is family violence? Family violence is behaviour towards a family member that may include: • physical violence or threats of violence • verbal abuse, including threats • emotional or psychological abuse • sexual abuse • financial and social abuse. A child’s exposure to family violence constitutes child abuse. This exposure can be very harmful and may result in longterm physical, psychological and emotional trauma. Action must be taken to protect the child, and to mitigate or limit their trauma. The longer a child experiences or is exposed to family violence, the more harmful it is. What are the physical indicators of family violence? PHYSICAL indicators of family violence include (but are not limited to): • speech disorders • delays in physical development • failure to thrive (without an organic cause)
• bruises, cuts or welts on facial areas, and other parts of the body including back, bottom, legs, arms and inner thighs • any bruises or welts (old or new) in unusual configurations, or those that look like the object used to make the injury (such as fingerprints, handprints, buckles, iron or teeth) • internal injuries
Learn more about Child Protection
What are the behavioural indicators of family violence? BEHAVIOURAL indicators of family violence include (but are not limited to): • violent/aggressive behaviour and language • depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts • appearing nervous and withdrawn, including wariness of adults • difficulty adjusting to change • psychosomatic illness • bedwetting and sleeping disorders • ‘acting out’, such as cruelty to animals • extremely demanding, attention-seeking behaviour • participating in dangerous risk-taking behaviours to impress peers • overly compliant, shy, withdrawn, passive and uncommunicative behaviour • taking on a caretaker role prematurely, trying to protect other family members • embarrassment about family • demonstrated fear of parents, carers or guardians, and of going home • disengagement from school and/or poor academic outcomes • parent-child conflict For older children and young people indicators can also include: • moving away/running away from home • entering into a relationship early to escape the family home • experiencing violence in their own dating relationships • involvement in criminal activity • alcohol and substance abuse. 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 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 16
rude or threatening to you, hang up immediately and contact your parents.
ANSWERING THE DOOR Tips for parents: • Install a lockable screen door and a peephole in the front door. • If it is night, leave the outside light on. • Ensure all emergency numbers, including a reliable relative’s or friend’s, are listed by the phone. • Practise ‘pretend-dialing’ emergency numbers from your list, with your child. Rehearse what they should say. Tips for children: • Keep the screen door locked. • Always ask “Who is it?” before answering the door. • Always look through the peephole before answering the door – if it’s a stranger, or someone you don’t trust, you can pretend you are not at home. • If you do not know the person or if it is a person you do not trust, do not let them in. If they do not leave, call the police and call a neighbour or a trusted nearby adult. • Make sure you know where all the emergency numbers are kept near the phone and practise pretending to dial them.
IF SOMEONE TRIES TO ENTER THE HOUSE
Call the police immediately. Dial 000 Telephone your parents, your neighbour or another adult you trust.
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 Cyberbullying is the use of technology to bully a person or group with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically. Cyberbullying behaviour may include: • abusive texts and emails • hurtful messages, images or videos • imitating others online • excluding others online • humiliating others online • nasty online gossip and chat. By reporting it, talking about it and supporting each other, we can stop it. For many children and teenagers, their online life is an important part of their social identity. They can’t just ‘switch it off’. Many young people do not report cyberbullying to their parents as they fear that they might lose access to their devices and the internet. Young people may also be concerned that parents’ actions will make cyberbullying issues worse,
SAFETY AT HOME
TROLLING Trolling is when a user intentionally causes distress by posting inflammatory comments online. • Trolling differs from cyberbullying in that trolls aim to gain attention and power through disruption of conversation by encouraging a defensive reaction from those they attack. Cyberbullying usually focuses less on the reaction of the victim, and more on the feelings and authority of the bully. Cyberbullying is usually repeated behaviour, while trolling can be one-off. What can I do? As a parent, you can help your child and encourage them to take control of the issue. Talk to them about cyberbullying before it happens. Together you should work out strategies to address any potential issues and reassure your child that you will be there to support them. • Report the cyberbullying material to the social media service where it happened. Social media services should remove cyberbullying material that has been reported and is in breach of their terms and conditions. Most social media services have a reporting area on their website. The Office website also provides information about how to report material on various services. • Collect details of the cyberbullying material. You might need to do this before you report it to the site. A simple way to collect this information is by taking a photo or screenshot or copying the URL. If you submit a complaint to the Office about cyberbullying material, you need to provide this information. Report cyberbullying to the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. • Block the person. We recommend that you help your child
block or unfriend the person upsetting them, so they cannot continue to upset them whilethe material is being removed. • Remember that if your child has been involved in cyberbullying, and seems distressed or shows changes in behaviour or mood, it may be advisable to seek professional support through Kids Helpline. Kids Helpline is a free and confidential online and phone counselling service for young people, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 55 1800.
HOW TO REPORT
TOO MUCH TIME ONLINE
What can I do? • The longer you wait to address the issue, the more difficult it can be to overcome. So if you see an emerging problem arising from excessive use, act on it right away. • Talk to your child about the concerns you have and monitor what games, apps and devices are bought or used by your child.
Collect evidence - copy URLs or take screenshots of the material
If the content is not removed within 48 hours
To many parents it seems as though children and young people are constantly online. Often they seem to be engaged in more than one task at a time; for example, downloading and listening to music while studying and chatting with friends or sending messages on their mobile phones. The number of hours that children and young people spend online can vary significantly. There is no guideline for the ‘right’ amount of time for children to spend online, however, if their online activity appears to impact negatively on their behaviour or wellbeing, or that of the family, it may be time to discuss expectations and establish time limits. It’s important to remember that some of the time your children spend online may be related to their education.
Report the cyberbullying material to the social media service
Report it to esafety.gov.au/reportcyberbullying
so it is important for you to remain calm and supportive.
Block the person and talk to someone you trust
If you are in immediate danger, call 000 (triple zero) If you need to talk to someone, visit kidshelpline.com.au or call them on 1800 55 1800, 24 hours a day 7 days a week
• You may like to install a program on the device your child is using which can be adjusted to limit the amount of time an internet connection will be available on that device. • Consider implementing family agreements about the amount of time your children can spend online. A similar approach can be used to limit access to devices. • If your child seems particularly anxious or irritable, or you notice them seeming isolated from friends or other activities, there may be an underlying mental health issue. Talk to your child’s school or your GP if your concerns extend beyond screen time. esafety.gov.au/timeonline
INAPPROPRIATE, OFFENSIVE & ILLEGAL CONTENT Inappropriate,offensive or illegal content may include topics, images or other information that are prohibited in www.childsafetyhub.com.au
SAFETY AT HOME
Australia or could be damagingto young people online. Children and young people may not deliberately seek out inappropriate content. They may inadvertently access content while undertaking online searches, they may seek it out, or be referred to it by others. Young people with smartphones might also be able to discover content that may be blocked by home and school internet filters. Offensive or illegal content may include topics, images or other information that are prohibited in Australia or could be damaging to young people online. Offensive or illegal content can expose children to concepts that they are not ready to manage and that may breach social and cultural norms. Some content can be distressing for children. They may not report it to parents or teachers as they may be ashamed of what they have seen, particularly if they sought it out. This is content that may: • Include footage of real or simulated violence, criminal activity or accidents, promote extreme political or religious views or be sexually explicit. This can include illegal images of child sexual abuse. • Promote hate towards individuals or groups on the basis of race, religion, sexual preference or other social/cultural factors, instruct or promote crime, violence or unsafe behaviour, like bomb or weapon making, anorexia, drug use, gaining unauthorised access to computers, fraud or terrorism. What can I do? • Encourage your child to tell you about inappropriate content they have come across andmake a complaint about specific content. • Limit their exposure to inappropriate content by supervising their online time where possible. • Install filters, labels and safe 18
zones that enable you to reduce their risk of exposure to unsuitable or illegal sites. • Keep them connected to trusted friends and family online and offline. • Help your child use search engines to locate websites. Consider developing a list of favourites for younger children. • Reassure your child that access to the internet will not be denied if they tell you about seeing inappropriate content. • If you are worried, or your child is vulnerable, please seek professional support. • Report inappropriate content to the site administrator. • The Office can investigate complaints about content that may be illegal or prohibited. Reportthis content to esafety.gov.au/ reportillegalcontent
SAFEGUARDS If a child has access to an internet-enabled device, they also have access to an extensive amount of content across the web. There are many ways parents can help their children to explore safely. What can I do? • Put in place online safeguards and parental controls-settings, filters and products that helpblock certain content so that you are better able toprotect what your children see online. Parental controls are available for most devices in the form of pre-installed settings that you can activate, or via the installation of free or commercial software. Some examples are: + Customisable computer accounts set up for your children. + Settings that you can apply to your computer to restrict access to downloads, apps, purchasing, games and to set internet usage time limits. + Settings you can apply to your
router to restrict access to online content. + Apps or settings applied to your child’s mobile phone to restrict access to browsers, apps, social networking sites, inappropriate content, photo and/or video sharing sites, streaming, and gaming. + Commercial or free internet filters which can alert you to contact from strangers outside of approved social networks, restrict access to inappropriate content, monitor your child’s online activity, restrict online usage times, and track GPS location, calls, SMS and contacts. • Remember that no single parental control tool is 100 per cent effective. Some content and sites can be encrypted in such a way that they are not recognised by parental controls, or a tech-savvy child may have the ability to bypass parental controls. You can also: • Encourage and model good behaviours with your kids around their use of connected devices, for example not bringing devices to the dinner table. • Set healthy limits about how much time is spent online each day, and for what purpose. • Implement boundaries such as only using devices in a ‘safe space’, like the living room, or having an open door policy when children use devices or computers in the bedroom. Be prepared to stick to these boundaries yourself. • Learn to understand the devices your children use, and talk to them about the importance of staying safe online and being aware of the behaviours of themselves and others. • Establish and maintain trust. It’s hard to monitor your children’s online activity at all times so trust is important. Further information about discussing these issues with your children can be found at: esafety.gov.au/chatterbox esafety.gov.au/safeguards
SAFETY AT HOME
HELP AND RESOURCES Check out the following support services and resources to help you keep your family safe online. The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner The Office’s website contains information and related links to support parents in keeping kids safe online. Resources include practical, action focussed advice, videos, games, support, and research-based information, and everything is free of charge. esafety.gov.au School support Many schools have detailed policies and procedures in place to help support children online, including how to manage issues like cyberbullying, sexting and other online concerns. The Department of Education policies in each state provide information for students, teachers, parents and the broader community to help raise awareness and counter the inappropriate use of technology. For more information, contact your child’s school.
Online counselling If you suspect or know that a child is being negatively impacted by things happening to them online, consider seeking professional support for them. Kids Helpline Kids Helpline service provides free, confidential online counselling for children and young people. Kids Helpline also provides young people experiencing problems online with free and private web chat counselling. kidshelpline.com.au or phone 1800 55 1800 eHeadspace eHeadspace is a confidential, free and secure space where young people aged 12 to 25 or their family can chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional. eheadspace.org.au
RESOURCES Parentline Parentline provides a counselling, information and referral service for parents that operates seven days a week between 8am and 10pm. parentline.com.au or phone 1300 30 1300 Lifeline Lifeline provides free 24-hour crisis counselling and information about support services. lifeline.org.au or phone 13 11 14 Crime Stoppers Crimestoppers or your local police can assist with concerns about children’s personal safety. crimestoppers.com.au or phone 1800 333 000
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SAFETY AT HOME
WINDOW SAFETY CHECKLIST Preventing falls out of wind ows is as important as learning how to use one in an em ergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the be st first step is to watch your children as they play. Nothing can substitute for careful supervision. Fires and falls are among the leading causes of injury and death in young children. While some falls occur from windows, it is important to realise that in the event of a fire, a window can also save a child’s life. This iswhy windows play a critical role in home safety. Has your family determined an emergency fireescape plan? Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it regularly. In the plan, include two avenues of escape from every room. Remember children may have to rely on a window to escape a fire. Help them learn to safely use a window under these circumstances. Make sure you have identified a safe meeting place outside. Do you keep windows shut when children are around? You should keep your windows closed and locked when childrenare around. When opening windows for ventilation, open windows that children cannot reach or those with restrictors fitted. Also, set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows and/or glazed doors. Falling through the glass can be fatal or cause a serious injury. Do you leave, or have you left, windows open because you thought the insect screen provided a safeguard from a fall? Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a fall. Insect screens are designed to provide ventilation while keeping insects out; theyare not designed to, nor will
they prevent a child’s fall from a window. Is there furniture placed under or near windows in your home? Keep furniture — or anything children can climb — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid. Are your windows fitted with key locks, vent locks or dead locks? Make sure that keys to all locked or restricted windows and doors are accessible in case of emergency. Each and every window and door must be able to be opened quickly when required.
Inspect your home’s windows carefully. Are any windows in your home painted or nailed shut? Never paint or nail windows shut. You should be able to open them to escape in an emergency.
Download a Window Safety Tip brochure
Did you know that strategic landscaping may lessen the extent of injury sustained in the event fall does occur? Plant shrubs and soft edging like wood chips or grass under windows to cushion potential falls. The surface can greatly affect the degree of injury sustained from a fall. For more information visit awa.org.au or consumer.vic.gov. au/productsafety www.childsafetyhub.com.au
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KidScreen Safety Handbook_2016.indd 2
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SAFETY AT HOME
SECURITY SCREEN SAFETY TIPS Preventing falls out of windows is as important as learning how to use one in an em ergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the be st first step is to watch your children as they play. Nothing can sub stitute for careful supervision. Emergency escape Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember when you have security screens installed, that windows may provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. Ensure at least one window in the room has a release mechanism on the security screen. Remember that children may have to rely on a window with a security screen to escape in a fire. Some homes may have security bars, grilles or shutters covering their windows. Those windows are useless in an emergency if the devices on them do not have a functioning release mechanism. Select screens with overriding devices that can be released by an adult or ensure you have a product that has an emergency egress feature and teach the family to safely use an emergency egress device in an emergency. Ensure keys to all security door locks are readily accessible to enable escape form the home if
required. Deadlocks, if engaged, will stop you from opening the security door without a key. Keeping children in and unwanted guests out Keep your security doors closed and locked when children are around to stop them leaving the home and to impede any unwanted guests from entering the home. Check that your security products meet Australian Standards or you may not be getting the protection you thought you were. Protection from falls Keep furniture — or anything children can climb — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid. If a window is accessible by a child and the window is not restricted, ensure that tested compliant security screens are fitted to stop your child from accidentally falling through. Remember a standard flyscreen is not made to protect
your child from falling through a window. Bush fire safety Are you in a bush fire area? Check that your screens meet the local bushfire regulations and the Australian Standard. Flyscreens can burn in a bush fire and can be the cause of your home burning. Where do you get the right products? Contact your local National Security Screen Association (NSSA) member for information and guidance on the right product to use for all situations. NSSA members comply with Australian Standards and are part of an independent third party accreditation scheme subject to annual factory inspections to ensure products conform. Visit www.nssa.org.au
TOPPLING FURNITURE Why Anchor it? Small children have died or suffered serious injuries from unstable furniture. Small children can be trapped under furniture; unable to breathe or be hit/struck by falling furniture. You can prevent death or injury to small children when choosing and securing furniture in your home. There are simple ways to prevent death or serious injury to small children when choosing and securing furniture in your home by anchoring furniture. Buy Safe • Purchase low-set furniture or furniture with sturdy, stable and
broad bases. • Look for furniture that comes with safety information or equipment for anchoring it to the walls. • Test the furniture in the shop— make sure it is stable. For example, pull out the top drawers of a chest of drawers and apply a little pressure to see how stable it is; make sure the drawers do not fall out easily. Use safe • Attach, mount, bolt or otherwise secure furniture to walls and floors. • Do not put heavy items on top shelves of bookcases.
• Place televisions at the back of cabinets or secure them to the wall. • Discourage small children from climbing on furniture. • Do not put tempting items such as favourite toys on top of furniture that encourage children to climb up and reach. • Do not place unstable furniture near where children play. • Put locking devices on all drawers to prevent children opening them and using them as steps. For more information on toppling furniture, visit www.productsafety.gov.au/ anchorfurniture or consumer.vic. gov.au/productsafety
Find out more about anchoring furniture
Watch how to anchor furniture
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SAFETY AT HOME
BUTTON BATTERY SAFETY
A Little Known Danger There’s a little-known risk to small children Inside small electronic devices may be very powerful coin-sized button batteries. When swallowed, these batteries can get stuck in the throat and cause severe burns or death. Take Charge. Act Now. 1. Keep devices with button batteries out of reach if the battery compartments aren’t secure, and lock away loose batteries. 2. If a child swallows a button battery, go to the emergency room right away. Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting. 3. Share this information with others.
Kids under 5 are at the greatest risk Many slim, sleek devices such as keyless entry remotes, mini remote controls, singing greeting cards, flameless candles and other electronics have battery compartments that are easy to open and most parents do not know there is a risk. Symptoms may be similar to other illness, such as coughing, drooling, and discomfort. Children can usually breathe with the battery in their throat making the problem difficult to spot. TheBatteryControlled.com.au Poisons Information Centre: 13 1126 For more information visit consumer.vic.gov.au/ productsafety
children per week visit a hospital emergency department due to a button battery related injury
A button battery can burn through the oesophagus in as little as
Button batteries may be found in
Singing greeting cards
Keep batteries out of reach of children Learn more about Button Battery Safety
Learn more about Button Battery Safety in the Home Steps for protecting children Take these four simple steps to ensure that blind Steps for protecting children and curtain cords/chains are out of reach of children, particularly from children under six. Take these four simple steps to ensure that blind
BLIND AND CURTAIN CORD SAFETY
and curtain cords/chains are out of reach of children, particularly from children under six.
1. Check your blind and curtain cords
Check for loose or looped cords that your 1. Check your blind and curtain cords
child can reach from the floor or by climbing Check for loose or looped cords that your on furniture. child can reach from the floor or by climbing
STEPS FOR PROTECTING CHILDREN
Immediately tie cords out of reach and move on furniture.
away any furniture children might climb on to Immediately tie cords out of reach and move reach them. away any furniture children might climb on to
reach them. Do this anywhere you are staying, including onDo this anywhere you are staying, including holiday.
Take these four simple steps to ensure that blind and curtain cords/chains are out of reach of children, particularly from children under six.
on holiday. 2. Secure your cords out of reach 2. Secure your cords out of reach
Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing cords from a hardware store or curtain and cords from a hardware store or curtain and blind shop. blind shop.
Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device in a place that is out of reach of children. in a place that is out of reach of children.
Never secure these devices with materials that Never secure these devices with materials that
may fail when a load is placed on them, such as may fail when a load is placed on them, such as double-sided tape or glue.
1. Check your blind and curtain cords a Check for loose or looped cords that your child can reach from the floor or by climbing on furniture. a Immediately tie cords out of reach and move away any furniture children might climb on to reach them. a Do this anywhere you are staying, including on holiday. 2. Secure your cords out of reach a Buy cleats or tensioning devices for securing cords from a hardware store or curtain and blind shop. a Use screws to fix each cleat or tensioning device in a place that is out of reach of children.
Never secure these devices with materials that may fail when a load is placed on them, such as double-sided tape or glue. If you cannot fix your unsafe cords and chains out of reach yourself, get a reliable tradesperson to do it for you. If you are renting your home, seek help from your landlord or agent. x
3. Choose safe blinds and curtains Buy new curtains and blinds which: a comply with the national mandatory standard a have warning labels to remind you of dangers to children a provide a way to secure cords/ chains so there are no loops or
strands that children can reach, or a operate without exposed cords/chains. 4. Keep children away from all cords/chains a Move anything a young child can sit in, stand or climb on (like cots, highchairs, beds, sofas, tables, chairs and bookshelves) away from cords/ chains—even those tied around a cleat, as your child may be able to untie them. x Do not let children play near cords/chains they can reach. x Never leave children alone in a room with cords/chains they can reach. For more information visit consumer.vic.gov.au/ productsafety
double-sided tape or glue.
Find out more about Blind Curtain Cord Safety
Learn about the Curtain and Cord Safety Kit
SAFETY AT HOME
FIRST AID BASIC FIRST AID ALLERGIC REACTIONS Signs & Symptoms • Swelling and redness of the skin. • Itchy, raised rash (live hives). • Swelling of the throat. • Wheezing and/or coughing. • Rapid, irregular pulse. • Tightness in the chest. • Headache. • Vomiting and/or abdominal pain. • Dizziness or unconsciousness. MANAGEMENT 1. Follow DRSABCD : • Check for Danger • Check for Response • Send for help • Clear the Airway • Check for Breathing • Start CPR chest compression • Apply Defibrillator. See chart page 26 2. If the patient is carrying an adrenaline autoinjector, it should be used at once. Let them administer the adrenaline autoinjector themselves, or ask them if they require assistance to do so. 3. Call 000 for an ambulance. 4. Keep patient in lying or sitting position. Observe and record pulse and breathing. Unconscious If patient is unconscious, check for breathing and response, and prepare to give CPR if necessary.
ASTHMA ATTACKS WARNING Anyone having a SEVERE asthma attack needs URGENT medical treatment. Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance. What to do Unconscious patient 1. Follow DRSABCD. Conscious patient 2. Help the patient into a comfortable sitting position. Be calm and reassuring. Don’t leave the person alone. Help them to follow their action plan. 3. Give 4 puffs of a blue/grey 26
reliever. Use a spacer if available. Shake the reliever inhaler before each puff. 4. Give 1 puff at a time with 4 breaths after each puff. 5. Wait 4 minutes. If no improvement, give 4 more puffs. 6. If the person still cannot breathe normally call for an ambulance and say that someone is having an asthma attack. 7. Keep giving 4 puffs every 4 minutes (as above) until the ambulance arrives. Where permitted under local State or Territory regulations, and if necessary use another person’s reliever inhaler, or use one from a first aid kit to assist a patient with a severe asthma attack. If someone is having difficulty breathing, but has not previously had an asthma attack, assist in giving a reliever until an ambulance arrives.
BLEEDING For severe external bleeding: • wear gloves, if possible, to prevent infection • do not apply a tourniquet • if an object is embedded in or protruding from a wound apply pressure either side of the wound and place pads around it before bandaging • give nothing by mouth. What to do Unconscious casualty 1. Follow DRSABCD. Conscious casualty 1. Follow DRSABCD. 2. Lie the casualty down and remove or cut their clothing to expose the wound. 3. Apply direct pressure over the wound using a pad or your hands (use gloves if available). Instruct the casualty to do this if possible. 4. Squeeze the wound edges together if possible. 5. Raise and support the injured part above the level of the heart. Handle gently if you suspect a fracture.
6. Apply a pad over the wound if not already in place and secure by bandaging over the padded wound. 7. If bleeding is still not controlled, leave initial pad in place and apply a second pad and secure with a bandage. 8. Check circulation below wound. 9. Ensure an ambulance has been called.
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.
Find out more Facts about First Aid
POISIONING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS Signs and symptoms depend on the nature of the poisons which may be ingested, inhaled, absorbed or injected into the body. • Abdominal pain • Drowsiness • Burning pains from mouth to stomach• Difficulty breathing • Tight chest • Blurred vision • Odours on breath • Change of skin colour with blueness around the lips • Sudden collapse MANAGEMENT Unconscious patient 1. Follow DRSABCD. See chart page 26 2. Ensure call for ambulance has been made— triple zero (000). 3. Call fire brigade if atmosphere contaminated with smoke or gas.. Conscious patient 1. Follow DRSABCD. See chart page 26 2. Listen to patient give reassurance but not advice. 3. Try to determine type of poison taken. 4. Call 13 11 26 for Poisons Information Centre. 5. Send any vomit, containers and/or suicide notes with patient to hospital. WARNING DO NOT induce vomiting unless advised to do so by Poisons Information Centre. DO NOT give anything by mouth. Wash substances off mouth and face with water. Poisons Information Centre 131 126
SAFETY AT HOME
DRSABCD ACTION PLAN In an emergency call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance
SEND for help
A B C D
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 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
Apply defibrillator if available and follow voice prompts
Signs & symptoms Sprain • intense pain • restricted mobility • rapid development of swelling and bruising. Strain • sharp, sudden pain in region of the injury • loss of power • muscle tenderness. What to do 1. Follow DRSABCD. 2. Follow the RICE management plan: • REST the patient and the injured part. • Apply ICEPACK (cold compress) wrapped in a wet cloth to the injury for 15 minutes every 2 hours for 24 hours, then for 15 minutes every 4 hours for 24 hours. • Apply COMPRESSION elastic bandage firmly to extend well beyond the injury. • ELEVATE the injured part. 3. Seek medical attention if no improvement.
CUTS & BRUISES • If the cut is severe, stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound. Use a pad made of any material until a sterile dressing is available. • Raise and support the injured limb, taking particular care if you think a bone may be broken. • Bandage the pad or dressing firmly to control bleeding until the ambulance arrives.
FIRST AID FOR CUTS If the wound is dirty, wash it in clean running water then dry it and the surrounding skin with a sterile dressing or a pad of clean non-fluffy material. Cover the cut completely with a sterile dressing held in place with a cotton bandage or adhesive plaster.
BURNS & SCALDS Any child who has received any kind of burn should be taken
How safe is your hot water? At 60°C, hot water can cause a full thickness burn in less than a second.* And of all the Aussie kids who suffer scalding from hot tap water each year, more than 90% of their accidents take place in the bathroom.^ If you’re replacing bathroom fittings or installing a new hot water system, remember that Australia’s maximum hot water delivery temperature is 50°C.
AGL can make sure your hot water is delivered safely with a temperature controlled hot water unit. All our continuous flow and storage tanks are 50°C limited, or if you would like to adapt your existing system we can install a tempering valve to deliver water at a safe temperature.
Think safety first. Call AGL on 131 766 today. *Source: Kidsafe New South Wales Inc, ‘Hot water like fire’. April 2010. ^Source: ‘Child Safety Handbook, Edition 5: A guide to injury prevention for parents of 6-12 year olds’, Compiled by the Royal Children’s Hospital Safety Centre, Melbourne.
SAFETY AT HOME
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. 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 possible. The first thing to do in an emergency • If a person’s clothes catch alight, stop them moving or running around. Movement
will fan the flames. Remember: stop, drop, roll, manage. • Give first aid for burns and scalds (see below).
FIRST AID FOR BURNS AND SCALDS 1. Ensure it is safe to approach the patient. 2. Extinguish burning clothing – smother it with a blanket, jacket or use water. In the case of a scald, quickly remove wet clothing from the affected area. 3. Hold the burnt area under cold running water until the skin returns to normal temperature – do this for at least 20 minutes. 4. Remove jewellery and clothing from burnt area – leave it if stuck. 5. Cover the injury with a non-adherent burns dressing – if you don’t have one, use aluminium foil, plastic wrap or a wet clean dressing. 6. Seek medical aid urgently. When to seek medical advice: In the case of a child being burned, you should always consult a doctor immediately. Extensive burns are dangerous and may be fatal. For adults, you should seek medical aid if: • The burn is deep, even if the patient feels no pain. • A superficial burn is larger than a 20-cent piece. • The burn involves the airway, face, hands or genitals. • You are unsure of the severity of the burn. For more information visit www.stjohn.org.au
CHOKING MANAGING A CHOKING ADULT OR CHILD (OVER 1 YEAR) Signs & symptoms • Clutching the throat. • Coughing, wheezing, gagging. • Difficulty breathing, speaking, swallowing. • Making a whistling or ‘crowing’ noise or no sound at all. • Face, neck lips, ears, fingernails turning blue. MANAGEMENT 1. Encourage adult or child to relax and cough to remove object. 2. Call triple zero (000) if coughing does not remove the blockage, or if patient is an infant. 3. Bend patient well forward and give 5 back blows: with heel of hand between the shoulder blades—checking if obstruction is relieved after each back blow. 4. If unsuccessful, give 5 chest thrusts: place one hand in the middle of patient’s back for support and heel of other hand in the CPR compression position and give 5 chest thrusts, slower but sharper than compressions. Check if obstruction is relieved after each chest thrust. 5. If blockage does not clear: continue alternating 5 back blows with 5 chest thrusts until medical aid arrives. If patient becomes unconscious: • call triple zero (000) for an ambulance, • remove visible obstruction from mouth • commence CPR
PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES Resuscitation can save a life, so it’s a good idea to learn first aid. St John Ambulance, Red Cross and a number of private first aid training companies run courses which also include information on resuscitation. Workcover can provide a list of accredited companies. Make a list of emergency numbers to keep near the telephone. Below are some suggestions for 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.
SAFETY AT HOME
SAFE BACKYARD PLAY Keep the backyard clear from rubbish and remove any trip hazards • Keep tools, equipment and chemicals locked away • Choose play equipment that has the Australian Standard ‘tick’ logo • Position play equipment in an area that is shaded, easily supervised and accessible • Ensure all play equipment and bikes are appropriate to a child’s age, size and developmental stage • Ensure play equipment is strong, sturdy and securely anchored. • Secure any ropes top and bottom so they are not slack and cannot form a noose • Play equipment should not have sharp edges, splinters or protruding parts that could pierce skin, or tangle in a child’s hair or clothing
• Regularly check play equipment for wear and tear • Remove loose cords from children’s clothing so they don’t get caught in equipment • Supervise young children on and around play equipment at all times • Fence play areas off from driveways and garages/carports • Ensure pool gates are selfclosing, self-locking and well maintained. Regularly inspect fence panels and gates and leave nothing nearby for a child to climb • Remove any plants that may harm or cause illness in children • Supervise animals near children at all times • Don’t leave lawn mowers and electrical equipment unattended
reduce the risk of injury. • The trampoline should comply with Australian Standard AS 4989. Look for the Australian Standard ‘tick’ • Safety pads are installed adequately to cover the frame and springs. • Netted trampolines are recommended as fall hazards have been minimised • Locate the trampoline on a flat, soft surface and secure it to the ground. • Arrange a safety zone around the trampoline of 2.5m for open trampolines and 1.5m for enclosed trampolines. • Make sure there is a clearance of 5 metres above the trampoline bed. • Do not let children access the trampoline by using chairs, ladders or planks.
Trampolines require active supervision. Parents and carers need to implement safety measures to
Safe use of trampolines: • Allow only one child at a time
5 Y E A R F R A M E WA R R A N T Y
Actions’ Number 1 for
Safety Bounce Fun! Available in 8’, 10’ and 12’
SAFETY AT HOME
• Provide constant adult supervision. • Older children need firm guidelines on proper use of the trampoline and skill development. • Teach your child to jump in the centre of the mat and to focus their eyes on the trampoline to help to control bounce. • Teach your child to climb on and off the trampoline rather than jumping off. • Regularly check the condition of the trampoline frame, springs and bed for tears, rust, detachment and general weakening of the structure.
POOL SAFETY Did You Know? • Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death in children under 5 years of age • On average, over the last decade, a child under 5 years of age drowned every week in Australia • For every drowning death it is estimated that three children were admitted to hospital as a result of an immersion incident • For children under 5 years of age, home swimming pools are the most common site in which drowning occurs • Children less than one year of age most frequently drown in bathtubs • Children drown all year round RESTRICT ACCESS Fence / Gate / Maintain • Maintain your pool barrier and gate • Provide a Child Safe Play Area Creating a barrier between your child and the body of water is one of the most effective ways of preventing drowning. Pool fencing has been shown to save children from drowning. Fencing must isolate the water body (including swimming pools, spas and wading pools) from the house and should be regularly maintained with a gate that self-closes and self-latches. Any object a child could use to climb over a barrier should be removed.
Kids can drown without a sound! Pools are an obvious risk but children can also drown in baths, dams, rivers, creeks, garden ponds and even nappy buckets. Once a young child’s face is underwater, the child is unable to pick themselves up as their head is heavier than their bodies. Most parents and carers believe they will be able to hear if their child is drowning/ This, however, is not true as water in the airway can block any sounds being heard. Drowning is a very quick and quiet event. • Over a quarter of all drowning deaths among children in backyard swimming pools occur in inflatable or portable pools. • There are many more near drowning incidents that occur, some of which result in lifelong brain damage for the child. Inflatable and portable pools are a popular options for a lot of families. But, there are dangers that all pool owners should be aware of. Inflatable and portable pools are said to be more of a risk to children than pools that have been built with fences. This is because many people are not aware that these pools may need to have fences and some are not able to be emptied after use due to their size. Because of this, children have easy access to the water in the pool, placing them at a very high risk of drowning. • Only use large inflatable or portable pools if they are able to be fenced. • Fines apply if you do not have a four-side fence around inflatable and portable pools that can be filled with more than 30cm of water (the size of an average ruler).
Pool fencing has been shown to save children from drowning Visit www.homepoolsafety.com. au for your home pool safety checklist that will help you maintain your fence and gate in good working order. A child safe play area can be created inside or outside the house and will also restrict a child’s access to water. Inside the house, doors and windows should be locked to prevent the child being able to wander away and the bathtub should be emptied immediately after use and the bathroom door kept shut.
SAFE IN THE SUN - A REMINDER When children spend time in the backyard, they often spend time in the sun. Children need to be protected from the sun. Too much sun during childhood can cause
Download more information about how Kids can drown without a sound
skin cancer as they get older. The younger any sunburn occurs, the greater the risk. So, to stay safe in the sun: • Stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day, in general between 10am and 3pm • Provide good quality shade in the backyard so that children can play out of the sun. This may be a verandah, a pergola, a large leafy tree or a children’s cubby. • Children need clothing that gives them a natural protection from the sun. Hats, with a neck flap and a brim or visor, and long-sleeved shirts are good. Cottons and lycras are good sun-protective materials. • Use an SPF 30+ sunscreen on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun. Mild sunscreens are often better for young children with sensitive skin. www.childsafetyhub.com.au
FIRE SAFETY SAFETY IN THE HOME What are some of the common causes of house fires? Most common causes of house fires are: • Saucepan containing fat or oil boiling over onto the hot plate or burner • Heat setting on the stove being too high, causing burning or fat spattering • Leaving cooking on a stove unattended • Children playing with matches • Appliances such as: an iron, stove, oven or heater left on at night, or when the house is left unattended • Furnishings, toys or clothes placed too close to heaters where they may accidentally catch fire • Smoking in bed • An open fireplace left burning without a screen guard • Faulty electrical appliances • Incorrectly installed flues on wood heaters or stoves • Overloaded power points Did you know? 75% of house fires start with something smouldering. How do people die in house fires? People die in house fires by being exposed to radiant heat of flames, super heated air, poisonous gases (carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide) and smoke inhalation, which stops people from breathing. These gases can also restrict their vision, alter their judgement and cause unconsciousness. How can a smoke alarm protect me in a fire? Smoke alarms warn people of house fires. A sharp beeping sound, triggered by the presence of smoke in the house provides an early fire warning. When you hear this sound you should leave your house quickly. 32
Since many house fires start during the night and smoke rises to the ceiling first, it is important to install smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall in or near bedrooms, so the alarm awakens you during your sleep before the smoke and flames spread to your room. What plans can I make to protect myself in a house fire? It is extremely important that you develop a fire escape plan with your family to provide all family members with two safe ways out of the house in the case of a fire. To design a home escape plan you need to: • Draw a floor plan of your home • Plan 2 ways out of each bedroom, through the bedroom door or windows • Make sure that windows can be easily opened • Install smoke alarms near or in each bedroom • If you sleep in an upstairs bedroom, it is wise to have an escape ladder kept under your bed. Make sure you know how to properly attach the ladder over the edge of the window to help you climb down safely. • Try to provide a barrier from the smoke and flames • Select a meeting place for all family members outside the home – the letter box, a specified tree, telephone pole or neighbour’s house • Practise your escape plan • Keep the phone number of your local fire brigade near your phone • Keep a key in deadlocks while you are in the home Don’t forget: Dial 000 in an emergency to contact the Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulance. In a house fire remember how to escape: • Don’t waste time getting
dressed, leave in the clothes you are wearing Crawl low in smoke, the cleanest air is nearest the floor Feel your bedroom door with Learn more the back of your hand before helpful hints and opening it and leave if safe to tips to avoid do so, closing the door as you your house leave. If hot to touch or smoke catching fire is coming under the door, then make your way out through the window. If you sleep in an upstairs bedroom, it is wise to have an escape ladder kept under your bed. Make sure you know how to properly attach Play the Safe Mistake Home the ladder over the edge of the Game window to help you climb down safely. Make sure all family members are safe Once out, stay out – do not go back inside the house to get things, people or pets
Remember if your clothes catch fire, roll on the ground and smother the flames STOP where you are, as running fans the flames. DROP to the ground, as flames travel upwards towards the face and hair. ROLL on the ground with hands covering the face. This protects you from flames and heat by smothering the flames and prevents gases from damaging your eyes and lungs.
SMOKE ALARMS Only working smoke alarms save lives. Why should I have a smoke alarm? If you don’t have a working smoke alarm installed in your home, and a fire occurs, you are: • 57% more likely to suffer property loss and damage • 26% more likely to suffer serious injuries • Four times more likely to die. When you‘re asleep you lose your sense of smell. A smoke alarm is your electronic nose. It will alert you if there is smoke from a fire. A small fire can grow to involve an entire room in just two to three minutes. A smoke alarm provides early warning and time to escape. Smoke Alarms are compulsory in every home. Since 1 August 1997, Victorian law states that smoke alarms (complying with Australian Standards AS3786) must be installed in all homes, units, flats and townhouses. It is the responsibility of all owners and landlords to install working smoke alarms. Residential homes constructed before 1 August 1997 need only standalone, battery powered smoke alarms. Residential homes constructed after 1 August 1997 must have smoke alarms connected to 240 volt mains power. These smoke alarms must also have a backup battery installed in the smoke alarm in case there is a loss of power. All fire services in Australia recommend the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms that meet Australian Standards (AS3786) when installing or replacing existing smoke alarms. Tips to keep your smoke alarm in working order: • Test your smoke alarms once a month. The alarm should produce a loud “beep, beep, beep” sound when you press the test button • Clean your smoke alarms at least once a year by using the
By law, all residential properties in Victoria must have at least one smoke alarm installed on each level. MFB and CFA recommend photoelectric smoke alarms with
By law, all residential • Photoelectric smoke alarms are a 10-year lithiumproperties battery in a tamper proof chamber. in Victoria must have at least one more effective and less prone to smoke alarm installed on each level. false alarms.and less prone to • Photoelectric smoke alarms are more effective MFB and CFA recommend • They can be standalone (not false alarms. photoelectric smoke alarms with a connected to 240v mains power) 10-year in a tamper or hard-wired to 240v • Theylithium can bebattery standalone (not connected to 240v (connected mains power) or proof chamber. (connected to 240v mains mains power). hard-wired power).
• Press the button
• Dust or gently wipe
Replace Every 10 Years
around coversmoke of • Allalarm? smoke alarms Where do install my • Hold until the I alarm smoke alarm (hard-wired and beeps three times
standalone) need to
* If applicable, replace replaced • Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling atbe least your smoke alarm battery annually 30cm from the wall.
• Smoke alarms must be between each sleeping area and the rest do of the house. my smoke alarm? Where I install • Smoke alarms should be any room wherealarms should be inside any • Smoke alarms should beinside installed • Smoke on the sleeps ceiling at least 30cm room where someone sleeps with someone with the doorfrom shut. the wall.
the door shut.
• Smoke alarms must meet Australian Standard • Smoke alarms must be between • SmokeAS3786. alarms must meet Australian Standard AS3786. Where do I install my smoke alarm?
each sleeping area and the rest of the house.
• Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling at least Additional places you may 30cm from the wall. install a smoke alarm to
Must be located between sleeping areas and the rest of the house
provide additional protection
• Smoke alarms must be between each sleeping area and the rest of the house. • Smoke alarms be inside any room where Bedroom should 1 someone sleeps with the door shut. Bedroom 3
• Smoke alarms must meet Australian Standard AS3786. Living
Must be located Kitchenbetween sleeping areas and the rest of the house
Additional places you may install a smoke alarm to provide additional protection
Find out more about Smoke Alarms
Download more information about Smoke Bedroom 3 Alarms
For more Fire Safety information visit mfb.vic.gov.au | cfa.vic.gov.au Kitchen www.childsafetyhub.com.au Lounge
brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Gently clean dust around the outside cover. • Replace all smoke alarms, both battery powered and hardwired, every 10 years. The manufacturing year will be printed on the smoke alarm if you are unsure of its age. • If your smoke alarm is powered by a replaceable battery, use long-lasting 9V alkaline batteries and replace them annually. Waiting until the smoke alarm beeps before you change the battery is too late - this indicates that the battery is already flat, and your family is not protected. Renters and Landlords It is the landlord’s responsibility to install and maintain smoke alarms within their properties. It is the renter’s responsibility to: • Test the smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working.
HOME FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST
• Contact their agent/landlord if the smoke alarm is not working • Contact their agent/landlord if the smoke alarm omits an occasional chirping noise as this means the battery or unit itself is faulty. Smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing A specialised smoke alarm is available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Due to the cost of this type of smoke alarm, the Department of Human Services may be able to provide financial assistance via a subsidy. For more information go to Vicdeaf Smoke Alarm Subsidy webpage.
Subsidy Profoundly deaf people can apply for a smoke alarm subsidy to help cover the costs of visual and vibrating smoke alarms.
Candles Keep away from curtains. Always use on non‑combustible surfaces.
Chimneys and flues Clean yearly.
Kitchen Never leave cooking unattended. Keep combustibles such as teatowels and curtains away from cooking and heat sources. Keep pot handles turned in. Keep grills, fans and cooking surfaces free of grease residue.
Bedroom Never smoke in bed. Don't leave laptops on bed Electric blankets Turn on no more than 30 minutes before bed. Turn off before you get into bed. Remove heavy items from bed when on. Keep flat with controls at the side of the bed. Regularly check for broken and worn wiring.
What to do when a smoke alarm goes off It is vital you know what to do if a fire occurs. Follow these simple rules to plan how you would escape a fire in your home and practice it with the whole family. 1. Get down low and stay out of smoke 2. If it’s safe, close doors on your way out to slow down the spread of fire and smoke. 3. Alert other people on your way out by shouting “get out” 4. Get out and stay out 5. Meet at a safe place such as the letterbox outside of your home 6. Call 000 (triple zero) from a mobile phone or a neighbours phone. Ask for FIRE.
Heaters Install, maintain and operate according to manufacturer’s instructions. Keep 1 metre clear space around. Turn off before going to bed or going out.
Smoke alarms Test and clean regularly. At least one on each level. One in every bedroom where someone sleeps with the door closed.
Open fire place Always use a fire screen in front of an open fire. Put out fires before going to bed or going out. Keep 1 metre clear space around
For further details visit the VicDeaf website.
Front door Never deadlock doors when you’re at home. If you must keep doors deadlocked, leave your keys in the lock. Develop and practise your home fire escape plan – have two ways to escape each room and a designated safe meeting point outside your home, e.g. letterbox.
Laundry Clean the lint filter on your clothes dryer after each load. Let the dryer complete its cooldown cycle before stopping.
Remember… If your smoke alarms have removable batteries replace them every year. Supervise children near heating equipment. Turn off electrical appliances at the power point when not in use. Keep electrical appliances and equipment in good working order. Replace damaged equipment e.g. power cords. Don’t overload power boards. Have and know how to use your fire blanket and extinguisher.
ESCAPE PLANS Plan how you would escape a fire in your home Families who are well-prepared are more likely to escape their homes safely and without panic. • As part of your plan, all family members should know: • The two quickest ways out of every room • How they will exit from upstairs if your home has a second storey • An agreed-upon meeting place outside, such as the letterbox • How they will call Triple Zero (000) Top survival tips • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll • To help someone else, throw a woollen blanket over them to smother the flames • Crawl low in smoke: the safest
area for breathing is near the floor • Use the back of your hand to check doors for heat before opening • Close doors behind you if you can • Don’t go back inside for any reason What parents need to know Children are less likely than adults to wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm. Think about how you might be able to reach children’s bedrooms if regular access is blocked by fire. Families should practise ‘fire drills’ twice a year – more often with younger children. Useful tips for parents • Turn it into a game by timing how quickly they can escape • Make sure children know their home address and how to call Triple Zero (000)
• Use online games and activities to teach children about fire safety Never lock your deadlocks when you’re at home During a fire it will be dark and smoky – and a deadlocked door could block your escape. If you must keep deadlocks locked, leave your keys in the door. Basic treatment for burns • Remove clothing around the burn, unless it has stuck to the skin • Cool the burn under running water for 15 to 20 minutes. Never use oil, butter or ointment • Cover the burn with a clean cloth or cling wrap and keep the patient warm • See a doctor if the burn is blistered, larger than a 20 cent coin, or on the face, hands, feet or genitals.
Find out more about creating a Home Escape Plan
Download more information about a Home Escape Plan
YOUR HOME FIRE ESCAPE PLAN Draw your home floor plan in the grid and mark all the exits. Identify two ways out of every room. Decide on an outside meeting place, such as the letterbox. Practise your home fire escape plan regularly with the whole family. Keep this plan handy to remind everyone of the safe exits in case of fire.
Living Room Bathroom
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Did you know LPG gas smells like rotten eggs? For safety, a stinky chemical is added so you know when it is leaking. If you smell rotten eggs, move straight away from the area. Then tell an adult, who can turn off the valve. For other BBQ safety tips, go to www.elgas.com.au/swapngo
What comes between life and death? Brooks alarms Do you know if you have mains powered or battery powered smoke alarms? Have you tested your alarms in the last 6 months? Do you have a plan for getting your family out safely in the event of a fire? Do you know you can interconnect your alarms so that if one is triggered, they all sound? Call us on 1300 78 FIRE or visit www.brooks.com.au 36
BARBECUE SAFETY – look before you cook!
A faulty gas barbecue can burn more than just your sausages – on average there is one barbecue fire every day over summer. Make sure you “Look before you cook” and follow these simple steps to barbecue safely. If you haven’t used your barbecue recently • Check the gas cylinder – a gas cylinder must not be refilled if it has not been tested for over 10 years or if the cylinder has been damaged. Exchange LP Gas cylinders at a reputable supplier to avoid this problem • Check the hose to make sure it has not perished • Check connections to make sure they are tight – get into the habit of doing this regularly If you have a new barbecue New barbecues need to be assembled carefully. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check the connections are tight. Remember to Look before you cook and make it a regular habit. Check for gas leaks with soapy water Check the hose and regulator connections by spraying them with a soapy water solution such as common household detergent. Bubbles will form if gas is escaping. If in doubt, turn off the gas and contact a licensed gasfitter. Leak-test the connection to the cylinder every time you connect it – serious leaks are common and can be dangerous. • Get into the habit of doing a soapy water check. For more information visit: energysafe.vic.gov.au Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post you a free ESV soapy water bottle to keep near your barbecue. To ensure your barbecue is safe: • If a fire occurs, don’t try to extinguish the flames if is not safe
• • •
to do so. Call Triple Zero and turn off the gas at the meter or cylinder, but only if you can do so safely. Check the LP gas cylinder on your barbecue before you turn it on. A cylinder must not be refilled if it hasn’t been tested for more than 10 years or if the cylinder has been damaged. To have your gas cylinder tested ensure you use a licensed gasfitter You can exchange LP gas cylinders at a reputable supplier Check the hose to make sure it has not deteriorated Check the connections to make
sure they are tight and that the O rings are in good condition and have not cracked or split Use your barbecue in a clear space. Never use it indoors or in a confined area and ensure there is adequate clearance from walls, fences, and other property Cook with barbecue utensils and wear an apron to protect yourself from hot fat Remove excess fat from the barbecue after each use to prevent fires Do not use barbecues in windy conditions as the burners may blow out, risking a gas leak www.childsafetyhub.com.au
PETS AND BUSHFIRES Prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan for your pets a Decide whether you will keepyour pets with you or move them elsewhere during days of high fire risk. Include these details in your Bushfire Survival Plan. Remember, on Code Red days the safest place to be is away from highrisk bushfire areas. a If you choose to keep your pets with you, it’s important to confine them early. • Pets are safest inside a secure room, on a lead or in carriers. • Make sure you have wet towels and woollen blankets available to cover and protect your pets. • Make sure they have plenty of water to drink. a It is important that your pets are microchipped and wearing a collar identification tag at all times. Ensure all contact information is current and include an emergency contact outside your area that is linked to your pets’ records. The National Pet Register provides free iden-
tification for cats and dogs. Visit petregister.com.au or call 1300 734 738. a Make a list of where you could house your pets if you decide to leave early. This may include boarding kennels, a relative/friend’s place or you may be able to keep them with you. a Discuss with neighbours how your pets might be protected in case you are not at home or cannot make it home during a bushfire. Keep in regular contact with your neighbours during the fire danger period to let them know your plans. a Have a bushfire relocation kit or your pets stored within easy reach so you are ready to leave early. a Practise how you will move your pets if you leave. a If you take your pets on holiday into a high-risk bushfire area, make sure you prepare for their safety, along with your family’s and your own, in the event of a bushfire. Prepare a bushfire relocation kit for your pets Relocate your pets early on high fire danger days to a safer area.
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN? If you live near bush, grassland or coastal areas, you need to develop a Bushfire Survival Plan that includes your pets. Whether pets are at home with you, relocated during high risk days or brought along on holidays, you need to plan and prepare for their safety as well as your family’s and your own.
If you plan to relocate your pets, move them to a safer area well before a bushfire threatens. If you do not have friends or family in safer areas who can care for your pet, consider a boarding facility. If you relocate with your pets, make sure they are secured with a collar and lead or confined in a carrier. Make sure the carriers are clearly labelled with your contact details. Your bushfire relocation kit for pets should include: food and water a bowl for each pet a second collar and lead a carrier for cats and smaller pets bedding and a woollen blanket a pet first aid kit – seek your vet’s advice a favourite toy any medications your pet is taking plus a written list of them your pet’s medical history including proof of vaccination your vet’s contact details.
PLAN AND PREPARE – YOUR BUSHFIRE PLAN You don’t have to live in the country to be at risk of fire. If you live near areas that have significant bush, forest, long grass, or coastal scrub, then you need to plan ahead for the fire season. Not everyone thinks clearly in an emergency. A written, and preferably well-practised plan, will help you remember what needs to be done during a crisis. Use the Bushfire survival planning template – Leaving early (PDF) to help you write down your plan. Why should I leave early? Because fires can start and spread very quickly in some conditions, leaving early is by far the safest option for anyone in a high-risk bushfire area. Many peo38
ple have died trying to leave their homes at the last minute. Even a fire that is kilometres away could be at your door in minutes. In certain conditions, embers can travel many kilometres in front of a fire and a grassfire can travel faster than you can run. Wind changes are unpredictable and can rapidly change the direction or size of a fire. Driving in a bushfire is extremely dangerous, and potentially life threatening. A drive that would normally take five minutes could take two hours. Road closures, traffic jams, collisions, smoke, fallen trees and embers are all real possibilities. In a bushfire, people may be confused, disoriented and physically or psychologically stressed.
In these conditions, making good decisions becomes very difficult. What leaving early means Leaving early means being away from high-risk areas before there are any signs of fire. In other words, leaving early is a precaution you take just in case there is a fire – because in some conditions, any fire that starts is likely to be uncontrollable. Leaving early does not mean waiting for a warning or a siren. It does not mean waiting to see or smell smoke. And it certainly does not mean waiting for a knock on the door. Defending Your Property Planning to stay and defend is a
big decision. Most homes in highrisk bushfire areas are not defendable on Code Red days. The Defending your property page can help you decide whether or not you are capable of defending your property – and tells you about the risks and preparations involved. How to plan Just as every family or household is unique, every fire plan will be different. There are many ways you can go about your planning – but the information and templates in the Fire Ready Kit and on this website, are designed to put you on the right track. At an absolute minimum, talk through the ten decisions below with your household. Review these points before each fire season and don’t put it off until later: 1. Which Fire Danger Rating is your trigger to leave? 2. Will you leave early that morning or the night before? 3. Where will you go? 4. What route will you take – and what is your alternative in the event that a fire is already in the area? 5. What will you take with you? 6. What do you need to organise for your pets or livestock? 7. Who do you need to keep informed of your movements? 8. Is there anyone outside your household who you need to help or check up on? 9. How will you stay informed about warnings and updates? 10. What will you do if there is a fire in the area and you cannot leave? For more information visit mfb.vic.gov.au or cfa.vic.gov.au Your destination and journey It’s up to you to decide on a suitable place to go when you leave early on a fire risk day. If you do not have friends or relatives in low-risk areas who you can visit, consider community facilities such as libraries, shopping centres, swimmingpools or cinemas. If you don’t have a car you will
need to plan carefully to organise transport. Why write down your plan? Would you remember a plan that’s just in your head if you’re surrounded by smoke, heat and flames? A written plan will take the pressure off you, and avoid arguments and delays. In Victoria the bushfire season is long, and a written plan will help reduce uncertainty and anxiety. Having a written plan will reduce the stress and disruption to your family routine on every occasion you need to leave early – even if there is no fire. REMEMBER: Any bushfire plan – written or not – is better than no plan. Practical checklist – ensure you’re ready Take care of simple, practical actions before the fire season so you are ready to leave or seek shelter quickly, calmly and safely. 1. Pack an Emergency Kit with essential items and keep it in a handy place.
2. Scan important documents and photos onto a memory stick. 3. Purchase a battery-operated radio, powerful torch and extra batteries. 4. Save important contact numbers in your mobile phone. Include family, friends and the Victorian Bushfire Information Line. Have a spare mobile phone that you keep fully charged for emergencies. 5. Set aside protective clothing (long-sleeved, made from natural material like cotton) for each member of the family. Put woollen blankets in your car. 6. Practise packing your car so you know how long it will take. 7. Mark your primary routes, alternative routes and petrol stations on hard copy maps. 8. Make firm arrangements with anyone you plan to visit when you leave early. 9. Talk to neighbours or nearby friends about how you might help each other. 10. Don’t forget pets and horses – include pet transport containers in your Emergency Kit. Know where you can move your horses to if they won’t be safe on your property.
Find out more about a Home Fire Safety checklist
FLOOD / STORM / TSUNAMI & QUAKE SAFETY FLOODSAFE Victoria has many flood-prone communities with thousands of homes, properties and businesses at risk of flooding. Floods cause more damage per year in terms of dollars and lives lost than any other natural hazard in Australia. Flooding can happen at any time of the year. If you live in, work in or visit areas on low-lying land, close to creeks or rivers, or near major stormwater drains you may be at risk of flooding. A well prepared community can reduce the impact of flooding by up to 80%. People who are prepared are more likely to respond to floods appropriately and safely. TYPES OF FLOODING Riverine flooding In riverine flooding, relatively high water levels overflow above the banks of a stream or river. Depending on the local landscape, some floods may pass quickly, while others will move slowly down the river, sometimes lasting for several months. As the water moves downstream during floods, this may cause flooding in areas where it is not raining. Flash flooding Flash flooding is caused by heavy rain over a short period of time and is generally defined as developing in six hours or less from rainfall to the onset of flooding. Overland flooding Overland flooding is a type of flash flooding caused by a large amount of rain falling in a small area, causing storm water drains to overload. Weather Warnings Flood Watches and Flood Warnings are issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to tell people about possible flooding. 40
Flood Watches mean there is there is a developing weather pattern that might cause floods in one or two days. Flood Warnings mean flooding is about to happen or is already happening. Flood Warnings are classified into Minor, Moderate and Major depending on the expected size and impact of the flood. SES will provide information about how the floodwater might affect people and properties. Severe Weather Warnings or Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are issued when heavy rain fall that could lead to flash flooding is expected. Flash flooding happens quickly. There may be little or no warning. The arrival time and depth of a flash flood can not usually be predicted. Remember that you may not receive any official warning. If you think you are at risk, do not wait for an official warning to act. Emergency Alert During floods, SES may provide an alert through the National Emergency Alert Telephone
Warning System. All Emergency Services can use Emergency Alert to warn communities about dangerous situations by voice message to landline telephones or text message to mobile phones. If you receive an Emergency Alert you should pay attention and act accordingly. Prepare an Emergency Plan Flooding can happen at any time, with little warning. People who have planned and prepared for emergencies can help to reduce the impact of emergencies on their homes and families and recover faster. Your emergency plan should include: • Emergencies that might affect you • How they might affect you • What you will do before, during and after an emergency • Where you will go if you evacuate and the safest route to get there • A list of contact numbers you may need
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Commercial Radio, designated Community Radio Stations and SKY News Commercial Radio, designated Community Radio Stations and SKY News Commercial Radio, designated Community Radio Stations andSKY SKY News Commercial Radio, designated Community Radio Stations and News Television. Your Emergency Broadcaster will keep you informed of local events. Television. Your Emergency Broadcaster will keep you informed of local events. Television. Your Emergency Broadcaster will keep you informed of local events. Television. Your Emergency Broadcaster will keep you informed of local events. Television.Your YourEmergency EmergencyBroadcaster Broadcasterwill willkeep keepyou youinformed informedof oflocal localevents. events. Television. Your Your Youremergency emergency emergencybroadcaster: broadcaster: broadcaster: Your emergency broadcaster: Your Youremergency emergencybroadcaster: broadcaster:
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Red Cross Australia has excellent emergency planning advice for people with a disability and their carers. Your home emergency kit should include everything that you and your family need to cope in an emergency. We have created a simple flyer that can help you put together your own emergency kit.
Watch a Home Emergency Kit demonstration
A basic home emergency kit should contain: • Portable radio with spare batteries • Torch with spare batteries • First Aid kit • A copy of your emergency plan • Bottled water • Enough non-perishable food for three days www.childsafetyhub.com.au
STORM, FLOOD AND TSUNAMI SAFETY
• Rubber gloves • Food and special requirements for pets If an emergency occurs, add the following items to your emergency kit: • Important documents such as passports, birth certificates and insurance papers • Mobile phone and charger • Strong boots or shoes • Medications and prescriptions
STORMSAFE “The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for storms in Victoria, which means that we are responsible for planning for storms and for managing storm response if they do occur. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of severe weather and learn some simple, useful ways you can take responsibility for your own safety and that of your property.” Things to think about when creating your Emergency Plan: Who should I include in my plan? Consider all members of your household including pets, regular visitors and people who may stay with you part-time.
What emergencies could affect me? Think about where your property is located and the way it looks. Think broadly about the kinds of emergencies that could impact you. Don’t fall into the trap of focussing on one emergency at the expense of others. Where will I go if I need to evacuate? Make sure that you and your family all understand when and how you will leave, and where you will go. Think about the safest routes, and what you will need to take with you if you go. Where will I find emergency information and warnings? Know where to go for official emergency information. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and website addresses handy, and know how to tune in to your local emergency broadcaster. Where will I meet my family if we are separated? Determine a safe meeting place in case you are separated, and make sure your family members, friends and neighbours are aware of the location.
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SUPER THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE This information does not take into account your financial situation, objectives or needs. VicSuper recommends you seek professional advice for your own circumstances. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide which are available at vicsuper.com.au or by calling 1300 366 216. VicSuper Pty Ltd ABN 69 087 619 412 AFSL 237 333 is the Trustee of VicSuper Fund ABN 85 977 964 496. Under its AFSL, VicSuper is licensed to deal in, and provide financial product advice on superannuation products. At present, VicSuper representatives are limited to providing financial product advice on VicSuper products; ESSSuper - Revised, New, SERB and Transport Schemes; providing advice on whether a member should consolidate or roll over their superannuation holdings (excluding personal advice on self-managed superannuation funds) into VicSuper; and general superannuation matters. VicSuper is also able to provide financial advice on a broader range of financial matters and products for an additional fee.
What if I have special needs? If you have special needs, you need to think carefully about your plan. If you have a carer or council support, ask them how to help you prepare or check over your plan. Start by thinking about: • Whether you will need help to leave your home • Having a pre-arranged safer place to stay • Whether you will need to take any special equipment with you • Whether you will need an alternative power source to run life-support equipment Even if you only need help from a neighbour, talking about it now will ease your mind and ensure everything is in place before an emergency occurs. Red Cross Australia has excellent emergency planning advice for people with a disability and their carers. Emergency Kits Your home emergency kit should include everything that you and your family need to cope in an emergency. We have created a simple flyer that can help you put together your own emergency kit. A basic home emergency kit should contain:
STORM, FLOOD AND TSUNAMI SAFETY
• Do not drive through affected areas unless it is necessary.
• Portable radio with spare batteries • Torch with spare batteries • First Aid kit • A copy of your emergency plan • Bottled water • Enough non-perishable food for three days • Rubber gloves • Food and special requirements for pets If an emergency occurs, add the following items to your emergency kit: • Important documents such as passports, birth certificates and insurance papers • Mobile phone and charger • Strong boots or shoes • Medications and prescriptions What to do in a storm There are a number of things that you can do to make sure you and your property stay safe during storms. Remember, for storm emergency assistance from the SES call 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies call triple-zero (000). What to do before the storm Ensure you do the following before a severe storm arrives:
• Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured. • If it is safe to do so, check gutters, downpipes and drains are not blocked. • Park your car undercover and away from trees. What to do during the storm Ensure you do the following during a severe storm: • Stay indoors and away from windows. • If outdoors, shelter away from drains, gutters, creeks and waterways. • Be prepared for power outages. Floodwater is dangerous – never drive, walk or ride through floodwater. • Floodwater is toxic – never play or swim in floodwater. What to do after the storm Ensure you do the following after a severe storm: • Check your home and property for damage. • Keep clear of damaged buildings, powerlines and trees.• Be aware of road hazards such as floodwater, debris and damaged roads or bridges.
The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for tsunami in Victoria, which means that we are responsible for planning for tsunami and for managing response if a tsunami does occur. A tsunami is a series of waves generated by any of the following: • Vertical movement of the sea floor after a large earthquake • Submarine or coastal eruptions Meteor impacts • Submarine or coastal landslides Even though the overall tsunami risk to Victoria is lower than many other parts of the world, a tsunami may still impact the Victorian coast. The largest tsunami to affect Victoria in recent times occurred in May 1960 after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile.”
Visit VICSES for more safety information
QUAKESAFE The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is the control agency for earthquakes in Victoria, which means that we are responsible for planning for earthquakes and for managing responses if an earthquake does occur. An earthquake is the shaking and vibration at the surface of the Earth caused by underground movement along a fault plane, or by volcanic activity. Unlike other countries such as Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia, Australia does not lie in close proximity to a tectonic plate boundary where large earthquakes can occur. However, communities in Australia can still experience damaging and deadly earthquakes. The largest earthquake to affect Australia in recent times was the Newcastle earthquake in 1989, which killed 13 people and injured 160.” for more information visit ses.vic. gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
HEALTH & SAFETY
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 44
happy involves looking after their mental health as well as their physical health. Mental health is how we think or feel about ourselves and what is going on around us, and how we cope with the ups and downs of life. Good mental health helps us to form positive relationships with others, handle challenges and be able to generally enjoy life. With good mental health, children think positively about themselves and learn and achieve better results at school. Good mental health in childhood lays the foundations for positive mental health and wellbeing, now and into the future. Mental health difficulties in children Mental health difﬁculties affects children’s behaviour, feelings, ability to learn, social relationships, as well as their physical health and wellbeing. About half of all serious mental health problems in adulthood begin before
the age of 14 years. In Australia it is estimated that approximately one in seven children experience mental health difﬁculties. There are many ways that parents, carers and school staff can support children who are experiencing mental health difﬁculties. Some of these may be parents, carers and school staff working in partnership to come up with ways of supporting the child, attending information sessions on particular childhood mental health difﬁculties or getting a referral to a mental health professional. Although there are many effective supports for children experiencing mental health difﬁculties, many children do not receive the help they need. This can happen because families are unsure of whether their child has a difﬁculty, or they do not know where to go or what to do to get mental health support. Schools can be an ideal place for families to access information about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their children. Sometimes parents and carers may feel concerned about raising mental health concerns due to misunderstandings and negativity that they feel may exist about mental health difﬁculties. The positive way in which families and schools support each other in relation to mental health and wellbeing will help parents and carers to seek support and assistance in a timely way. RESPONDING TO CHILDREN WHO MAY BE EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH DIFFICULTIES Learning about children through observations Parents, carers and early childhood staff can support children’s mental health by being aware of possible signs of emotional and behavioural difficulties. Some of the difficulties which might be cause for concern can fall under the following five areas related to
HEALTH AND SAFETY
mental health. These are the key things to observe when you are concerned about a child’s mental health: Behaviours Emotions Thoughts Learning Social relationships Many children you may be concerned about will have difficulties in more than one area as they all link and influence one another. For example, a child who is showing signs of difficulties in their behaviour may also have difficulties in managing their emotions and forming relationships. It is common for children to show difficulties in these areas during early childhood as they are developing new skills. Many behaviours that would be of concern in an older child are natural for infants and very young children. If early childhood service staff have a concern about a child, they may choose to observe them in a range of situations to get as much information as possible. It is important that some observation, discussion and reflection takes place before deciding whether there is a significant concern requiring further investigation. Parents and carers are usually the first to recognise that their children are experiencing difficulties with behaviour, emotions or thoughts. Sometimes though, these difficulties may be more noticeable at a child’s early childhood service where staff regularly observe the behaviours of a range of children every day. Observations are an excellent way of identifying children’s strengths and needs. Through observations parents, carers and staff can see what children are coping with, enjoying, finding easy, and where children might need more support. When early childhood staff observe children they are concerned about, it is important they focus on particular behaviours and get as much detail about these behaviours as
possible. By observing children you can start to learn what is part of everyday child development and what could be a mental health difficulty. Taking time to observe children doing everyday things can help us understand the meaning behind their behaviour.
Talk to your child’s school about seeing the school psychologist or counsellor The psychologist or counsellor at your child’s school can listen to your concerns and discuss options for helping your child at home and at school.
Getting help for your child If you are concerned that your child has excessive worries, fears, or feels ‘bad’ about him or herself and you are not sure how to go about getting help, try the following steps:
See your general practitioner Your doctor can explore any physical health concerns and help you decide about the need for further mental health assessment and professional support by referring you to a children’s mental health specialist if required.
Find out more Talk to teachers or others who have regular contact with your child and find out if they have concerns about your child.
REFERENCES Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007) National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results. ABS, Canberra.
Learn How mental health difficulties affect older children (primary years)
Download more information on Learn How mental health difficulties affect older children
If your problem is urgent call Lifeline 13 11 44.
What kinds of mental health difficulties do children experience? Children’s mental health difficulties are generally classified as being one of two types: ‘internalising’ and ‘externalising’. Children with internalising difficulties show behaviours that are inhibited and over-controlled. They may have a nervous or anxious temperament and be worried, fearful and/or withdrawn. Children with externalising difficulties show behaviours that are undercontrolled. They may have a more challenging temperament, shown in impulsive or reactive behaviour. Sometimes this pattern can lead to diffi culties with attention, aggression or oppositional behaviour. Externalising behaviours cause diffi culties for others as well as for the children themselves. It is not uncommon for children to show behaviours associated with both internalising and externalising patterns of behaviour. The typical features associated with each pattern are summarised below. Features associated with children’s
‘internalising’ difficulties include: • nervous/anxious temperament • excessive worrying • pessimistic thinking • withdrawn behaviour • peer relationship diffi culties (eg can be isolated). Features associated with children’s ‘externalising’difficulties include: • challenging temperament • reduced problem-solving skills • attention difficulties, hyperactivity • oppositional behaviour (eg doesn’t like to be told what to do; won’t follow rules) • aggressive behaviour. Children with ADHD often show severe externalising difficulties. Children with other serious behaviour problems also show externalising patterns of behaviour, such as persistent aggression. Children with severe internalising diffi culties may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or with depression.
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toothbrush, and put somewhere formula or juice in bed. Always and put somewhere clean to dry. juice in bed. Always take away clean to dry. take away bottles after feeding.
bottles after feeding. For more information visit www.raisingchildren.net.au © Raising Children Network 2015
©©Raising Children Network 2015 © Raising © Raising Children Raising Children Network Children Network 2015Network 2015 2015
HEALTH AND SAFETY
HEALTHY EATING FOR CHILDREN TEACH YOUR CHILD HEALTHY HABITS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE What are the dietary Guidelines? The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need eat for health and wellbeing. They are based on scientific evidence and research. The Australian Dietary Guidelines of most relevance to children are included below:
GUIDELINE 1 To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active and choose amounts of nutritious food and drinks to meet your energy needs. • Children and adolescents should eat sufficient nutritious foods to grow and develop normally. They should be physically active every day and their growth should be checked regularly.
GUIDELINE 2 Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day: • Plenty of vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans • Fruit • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/ or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat (reduced fat milks are not suitable for children under the age of 2 years) And drink plenty of water.
GUIDELINE 3 Limit intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt, added sugars and alcohol. a. Limit intake of foods high in saturated fat such as many biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, pizza, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and other savoury snacks. • Replace high fat foods which contain predominately saturated fats such as butter, cream, cooking margarine, coconut palm oil with foods which contain predominately polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/ pastes and avocado. • Low fat diets are not suitable for children under the age
of 2 years. b. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added salt. • Read labels to choose lower sodium options among similar foods. • Do not add salt to foods in cooking or at the table. c. Limit intake of foods and drinks containing added sugars such as confectionary, sugar-sweetened soft drinks and cordials, fruit drinks, vitamin waters, energy sports drinks.
Learn more about Dietary Guidelines
Play the Eat for Health game
Encourage, support and promote breastfeeding.
GUIDELINE 5 Care for your food; prepare and store it safely
Find out about 5 Ways to a Healthy Lifestyle
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day. Drink plenty of water.
Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
Vegetables and legumes/beans
Red kidney beans
Wheat flakes Red lentils
Red kidney beans Lentils Mixed nuts Chickpeas
Fruit Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat
Use small amounts
Only sometimes and in small amounts
Visit: www.eatforhealth.gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
HEALTH AND SAFETY
ALLERGY & ANAPHYLAXIS An allergy, is an overreaction by the body’s immune system to a normally harmless substance. Substances that can trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens. Allergens may be in medication, in the environment (eg. pollens, grasses, moulds, dogs and cats), or proteins (most often) in the foods we eat. Individuals can have mild/moderate or severe allergies. Allergies should not to be confused with an intolerance, which does not involve the immune system. In Australia allergies are very common. Around one in three people will develop allergies at some time during their life. The most common allergic conditions are food allergies, eczema, asthma and hay fever. Food allergy occurs in around ten percent of children¹ and approximately two percent of adults. Having a food allergy means that when you eat a food containing that protein (allergen), the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s breathing, stomach and gut, skin and/ or heart and blood pressure. The same immune response occurs in drug allergy when a drug is ingested or injected and in insect allergy when a sting or bite occurs. There are also less common allergens that can also cause such an immune response. For someone with a severe allergy, exposure to the allergen can cause a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis affects the whole body, often within minutes of exposure. Signs of a mild to moderate allergic reaction are: • Swelling of the lips, face, eyes • Hives or welts • Tingling mouth • Abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy) Signs of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) are: • Difficult/noisy breathing • Swelling of tongue 50
• Swelling/tightness in throat • Wheeze/persistent cough • Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice • Persistent dizziness or collapse • Pale and floppy (young children) What is Allergy? Allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless for most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found in house dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, moulds, foods and some medicines. Atopy is the genetic (inherited) tendency to develop allergic diseases. People with atopy are said to be atopic. When atopic people are exposed to allergens they can develop an immune reaction that leads to allergic inflammation (redness and swelling).
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 and cardiovascular). A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis usually occurs within 20 minutes to 2 hours of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening. Common triggers of severe allergies or anaphylaxis include: Food Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy are the most common food triggers, which cause 90 percent
ACTION PLAN FOR
Anaphylaxi s For EpiPen® adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors
How to give EpiPen®
SIGNS OF MILD TO MODERATE ALLERGIC REACTION • Swelling of lips, face, eyes • Hives or welts • Tingling mouth • Abdominal pain, vomiting (these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy)
ACTION FOR MILD TO MODERATE ALLERGIC REACTION Form fist around EpiPen® and PULL OFF BLUE SAFETY RELEASE
• For insect allergy - flick out sting if visible • For tick allergy - freeze dry tick and allow to drop off • Stay with person and call for help • Locate EpiPen® or EpiPen® Jr adrenaline autoinjector • Phone family/emergency contact
Mild to moderate allergic reactions (such as hives or swelling) may not always occur before anaphylaxis
WATCH FOR ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SIGNS OF ANAPHYLAXIS (SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION) Hold leg still and PLACE ORANGE END against outer mid-thigh (with or without clothing)
• • • •
Difficult/noisy breathing Swelling of tongue Swelling/tightness in throat Wheeze or persistent cough
• Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice • Persistent dizziness or collapse • Pale and floppy (young children)
ACTION FOR ANAPHYLAXIS 1 Lay person flat - do NOT allow them to stand or walk
PUSH DOWN HARD until a click is heard or felt and hold in place for 3 seconds REMOVE EpiPen®
- If unconscious, place in recovery position - If breathing is difficult allow them to sit
2 Give EpiPen® or EpiPen® Jr adrenaline autoinjector 3 Phone ambulance - 000 (AU) or 111 (NZ) 4 Phone family/emergency contact 5 Further adrenaline doses may be given if no response after 5 minutes 6 Transfer person to hospital for at least 4 hours of observation
If in doubt give adrenaline autoinjector Commence CPR at any time if person is unresponsive and not breathing normally EpiPen® is prescribed for children over 20kg and adults. EpiPen®Jr is prescribed for children 10-20kg
All EpiPen®s should be held in place for 3 seconds regardless of instructions on device label © ASCIA 2017
ALWAYS give adrenaline autoinjector FIRST, and then asthma reliever puffer if someone with known asthma and allergy to food, insects or medication has SUDDEN BREATHING DIFFICULTY (including wheeze, persistent cough or hoarse voice) even if there are no skin symptoms
Learn more about Food Allergies
Download more information about Allergies
HEALTH AND SAFETY
of allergic reactions; however, any food can trigger anaphylaxis. It is important to understand that in some people even very small amounts of food can cause a life-threatening reaction. Some extremely sensitive individuals can react to just the smell of particular foods being cooked (e.g. fish) or even kissing someone who has eaten the food they’re allergic to.
IMMUNISATION • Immunisation from an early age helps protect your child against serious childhood infections. • The Immunisation Schedule Victoria outlines the vaccines your child needs and the age at which each vaccine should be given. • Some groups are more at risk than others in the community and may need additional vaccines. • Remain in the clinic with your child for at least 15 minutes after their immunisation to be sure there are no immediate side effects. • Serious side effects or allergic reactions to the vaccines are rare. Immunisation from an early age is highly recommended for all Australian children. Having your child immunised helps to protect them from the most serious childhood infections, some of which may threaten their lives. Routine childhood immunisations help to protect your child against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, pneumococcal disease, meningococcal C disease, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), rotavirus, chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps and rubella (German measles). The National Immunisation Program provides the routine childhood immunisations recommended for all children in Australia, free of charge. Some groups are more at risk than others in the community and may need additional vaccinations. See your doctor or local health clinic to have your child immunised. All Victorian local councils run immunisation sessions.
Pre-immunisation checklist Before the immunisation, you need to tell the doctor or nurse if your child: • is unwell (temperature over 38.5 ˚C) • has had a severe reaction following any vaccine • has any severe allergies to any other medication or substances • has had any vaccine in the past month • has had an injection of immunoglobulin or received any blood products or a whole blood transfusion within the past year • was a pre-term infant born less than 32 weeks gestation, or weighing less than 2,000 g at birth • as a baby, has had an intussusception (a blockage caused by one portion of the bowel sliding into the next piece of bowel like the pieces of a telescope) • has a chronic illness • has a bleeding disorder • does not have a functioning spleen • lives with someone with a disease or who is having treatment that causes lower immunity – examples include leukaemia, cancer or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), oral steroid medications, radiotherapy or chemotherapy • has a disease which lowers immunity (such as leukaemia, cancer, HIV or AIDS) or is having treatment that causes low immunity (such as oral steroid medication, radiotherapy or chemotherapy) • identifies as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person. Side effects after immunisation Immunisations are effective and safe, although all medication can have unwanted side effects. Some children may experience a reaction to a vaccine. In virtually all cases, immunisation side effects are not as serious as the symptoms a child would experience if they were to contract the disease. The mild side effects can include a mild fever and pain at
the injection site. For specific information about side effects from different doses of vaccine, ask your doctor or healthcare professional. Concerns about side effects of immunisation If the side effect following immunisation is unexpected, persistent or severe or if you are worried about yourself or your child’s condition after a vaccination, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital. Immunisation side effects may be reported to SAEFVIC, the Victorian vaccine safety and central reporting service. You can discuss with your immunisation provider how to report adverse events in other states or territories. It is also important to seek medical advice if you (or your child) are unwell, as this may be due to other illness rather than because of the vaccination. for more information visit better health.vic.gov.au
Learn more about Immunisation
Download the VaxOnTime app
Download the App now: VaxOnTime - Immunisation (Department of Health & Human Services)
PROTECT WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU
Toyota has been caring for your family for a lifetime. To lessen the injury to pedestrians, we build safer cars, and collect information from actual vehicle accidents. We analyse their cause as well as the extent and nature of the injuries sustained, and call this process the “pursuit of real safety”. Extensive crash-test research conducted at Toyota’s full-scale testing facilities help us design cars that can reduce the severity of collisions. Give your family the reassurance of safer driving by visiting your local Toyota dealership.
See your local Victoria Toyota Dealer today. toyota.com.au
STREET SMART Permanent School zone sign Slow down to 40km/h at all times.
40 Time-based school zone sign Slow down during school times to keep kids safe as they travel to and from school.
Learn more about Road Safety
Slow down during school times and help keep our kids safe. School speed zones are reduced-speed areas that operate near schools. They’re designed to keep kids safe by lowering the speed limit at peak times when children are travelling to and from school. What’s the speed limit? In most cases the speed limit (during school speed zone times) is: • 40km/h (when the original speed limit is less than 80km/h • 60km/h (when the original speed limit is 80km/h or higher). The speed limit and operating times for the zone will be clearly displayed on nearby signs (see below for examples). When do school speed limits apply? This depends on the kind of zone you’re travelling in. There are several types of school speed zones, including: • permanent 40km/h zones • time-based zones (where reduced speed limits apply between 8–9.30am and 2.30–4pm on school days –
see below for dates) • variable speed limit zones (where speed limits are shown using electronic signs). School speed limit dates Time-based school zones operate between 8–9.30am and 2.30–4pm on weekdays during Victoria’s school terms (except for public holidays). School speed zone signs Keep an eye out for the following signs and make sure to travel within the speed limit shown. Advance warning signs Prepare to slow down as you approach as school speed zone. Many of these signs will have a yellow background.
40 AHEAD SCHOOL TIMES
SCHOOL ZONE 8-9 2 -4
SCHOOL ZONE 8-9 2 -4
Variable electronic signs These signs are often used on roads with high speeds or large traffic volumes. The speed limit displayed will change depending on the time of day and traffic conditions.
60 for more information visit vicroads.gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
CYCLIST SAFETY In Victoria, all bike riders and their passengers and scooter riders are required to wear a bike helmet. This applies when riding on: • roads • bike paths • bike lanes • shared and separated footpaths • recreational parks • car parks. Research indicates that bike helmets greatly reduce the risk of head injuries, which are the major cause of death and injury to bike riders. When choosing a bike helmet make sure: • it fits firmly and comfortably on your head and cannot be tilted in any direction • the straps can be adjusted so there is no slack when fastened • it has a sticker showing it is safety approved and meets the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2063 • if the helmet is manufactured or imported from 1 July 2012, it is marked with the symbol of a body accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JASANZ)*, certifying compliance with AS/NZS2063. * Accredited companies that certify bike helmets can be found on the JAS-ANZ website. Research shows that wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 60 to 90 per cent. Of children aged 0-9 years who were fatally or seriously injured, only 42 per cent were wearing helmets (according to police reported crashes between 2004 and 2008). A bicycle helmet will only protect your child’s head if it is the right size and fitted correctly. The information below is for parents and carers to help them ensure their children wear a correctly fitted and adjusted helmet. 54
When should my child wear a helmet? An accident can happen anywhere, and it only takes an impact with the ground or concrete to sustain a head injury. Children should always wear a helmet when using tricycles, bicycles, scooters, when travelling as a passenger on an adult’s bike, in a bike trailer, or when using any other wheeled item. It is important to teach your child to take their helmet off when they finish riding and before they move to another activity. The straps on a helmet can get caught on furniture and play equipment if they are still wearing their helmet. Correctly fitting a helmet Place your hands on top of the
helmet and try to move it. It should not be possible to tilt the helmet: • forwards to cover the eyes • backwards to uncover the forehead • sideways to uncover the side of the head. When the helmet is fastened it should be squarely positioned on the head. The rim of the helmet should sit on the forehead just above the eyebrows. The straps should be adjusted so that there is no slack when the buckle is securely fastened under the chin. Ensure straps are not twisted and that the side straps form a V shape with the point just under the ear lobe. for more information visit vicroads.gov.au
Learn more about Cyclist Safety
Watch how to Check for Motorists and Cyclists
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY Cars Can Kill kids Every week in Australia a child pedestrian is killed (about 50 a year). For every child killed another 25 are admitted to hospital. About 13 of these deaths are children run over by reversing vehicles, typically in driveways. Pedestrian injury deaths are second only to car passenger deaths for children aged 5 to 14 and account for 1 in 5 injury deaths for this age group. Children Aren’t ‘Little Adults’ Roads are designed with adults in mind, but children aren’t ‘little adults’. Children do not have as much trafficexperience or knowledge and are physically and cognitively less developed. Unlike adults, children: • Can’t see over bushes or parked cars • Can’t be seen easily by drivers • Can’t stop quickly • Run into traffic • Imitate inappropriate behaviour • Can’t tell where sounds are coming from • May only notice one thing at a time • Have trouble concentrating • Tend to only look ahead • Tend to freeze in danger • Think that if they can see you, you can see them • Peripheral vision is under developed to age 9. Children are not ‘little adults’. Being a pedestrian is a risky business for a child, especially in busy areas. Driveways Are Roads Tragically every week in Australia, one child, often a toddler, is run over in the driveway of their home. In the time a parent, family member, or friend takes to say goodbye, a child can move from a ‘safe’ position onto the driveway and into the path of a vehicle. The vehicle is often moving slowly but even then it can sometimes be impossible to see small children, especially if they are behind the car.
Prevention • H old your child’s hand or keep them close when a vehicle is being moved from or onto a driveway. • When moving a vehicle, make sure your child is being supervised by another adult or they are in the car with you. • Discourage children from using driveways as a play area. • Use barriers such as security doors, fencing and gates to restrict access to your driveway. Watch Your Children Near Roads Walking is an important part of a child’s life. It is important for their health, fitness, and their ability to get around their neighbourhood. Getting to and home from school may also rely on walking. Before 5 years of age children should never be left aloneto cope with traffic situations. It is important that you hold your child’s hand at all times when near traffic. Set a good example for your child to copy. Explain to your child what you are doing when you cross the road together. From 5 to 9 years, children should still be supervised at all times near traffic. Teach your child how to cross roads:
Stop at the kerb
Look, both ways, for traffic
Listen for traffic
Decide whether it’s safe to cross Make the trip to school together along the safest footpaths and use safe crossing places. If you aren’t able to take your child yourself, arrange for a responsible adult to supervise your child on the way to and from school. Explain words as “fast”, “slow”, “near” and “far”. Talk about road signs, traffic lights and safe places to cross.
From 10 to 13 years of age children can cope more safely in traffic on their own. However, the busier the roads they must cross, the older they need to be. Check your child always stops, looks, listens and thinks when crossing roads. Tell your child about road laws in simple terms, go for walks together. Plan with your child safe routes to school and places often visited. Make sure your child wears clothes that are easy to see. (e.g. Bright or light coloured clothing.)
Learn more about Children and Pedestrian Safety
School Car Parks School car parks are a major risk for children • Every one is in a hurry and children, especially, are tired in the afternoon. • School carparks are very busy places, with many distractions adding to the confusion for children. • Reduce traffic congestion – walk or ride with your child. • Pedestrian injuries can be severe. They are a significant cause of child disability. for more information visit kidsafevic.com.au
“A Pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 30 km/h has a 95% chance of surviving, a 60% chance when struck at 50 km/h and only a 20% chance when struck at 70km/h. Australian research shows that a 5 km/h reduction in vehicles speeds would save one in three pedestrian deaths. If all vehicles kept to the speed limit, fatal pedestrian crashes would fall 12%”.
SAFETY IN CARS Choosing and using the safest restraint for your child • choosing the safest restraint for your child • the latest developments in the Australian standard for child restraints • restraints for children with additional needs. It is the law that all children under 16 years of age, when travelling in a motor vehicle in Victoria, must be restrained in a suitable restraint that is properly adjusted and fastened. The type of restraint will depend on the child’s size. Child restraints and booster seats used in Victoria must comply with the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1754 for child restraints. Visit vicroads.vic.gov.au/ childrestraints for the latest list of child restraint products available. Children aged under 6 months A child aged under 6 months must travel in a rearward facing child restraint. All rearward facing child restraints must be held in place by the seatbelt and the top tether strap, and must have an inbuilt harness. Some rearward facing child restraints can be turned around and used as a forward facing child restraint when the child is around 6 to 12 months of age. This type of restraint is often called a convertible restraint. Children aged 6 months to under 4 years A child aged 6 months to under 4 years must travel in either
Children under 6 months (rearward)
a rearward facing or forward facing child restraint. The type of restraint will depend on the child’s size. All rearward and forward facing child restraints must be held in place by the seatbelt and the top tether strap, and must have an inbuilt harness. Some rearward facing child restraints can be turned around and used as a forward facing child restraint when the child is around 6 to 12 months of age. Only move your child to a forward facing child restraint when they have outgrown their rearward facing child restraint. Children aged 4 years to under 7 years A child aged 4 years to under 7 years must travel in either a forward facing child restraint with an inbuilt harness, or a booster seat. The type of restraint will depend on the child’s size. All forward facing child restraints must be held in place by the seatbelt and the top tether strap, and must have an inbuilt harness. Some forward facing child restraints can be used as a booster seat by removing the inbuilt harness. This type of restraint is often called a combination restraint. Only move your child to a booster seat when they have outgrown their forward facing child restraint. A booster seat can be used with a lap-sash seatbelt or child safety harness. Refer to the restraint manufacturer’s instructions Booster cushions (with no seat back) are not recommended as they provide no protection in a side impact crash.
Children aged between 6 months and 4 years
Adult seatbelts Children aged 7 years to under 16 years must travel in either a booster seat, or an adult seatbelt. A child should continue using a booster seat until they have outgrown it. An adult lap-sash seatbelt is designed for people with a minimum height of 145 cm. The average child will reach this height between 10 and 12 years of age. Lap-sash seatbelts offer better protection to passengers than lap-only seatbelts, but they must fit correctly. This means the lap part of the seatbelt is positioned low over the hip and the sash part of the seatbelt sits in the middle of the shoulder and does not touch the neck.
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Download the VicRoads Road Satety Education storybooks and apps
KIDS IN HOT CARS Never leave childrean unattended in a car The thought of running a quick errand and leaving the children in the car for a minute can be tempting for a parent or carer. Leaving children unattended in a car on any day is dangerous, let alone a hot summer’s day. It could result in serious injury or death. In some states it is against the law to leave children unattended in a car. Check the motoring authority in your state or territory for the relevant laws and regulations. What are the risks? On a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can be 20 degrees C to 30 degrees C hotter than the outside temperature. The temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels quickly; 75% of the temperature rise
Children aged between 4 years and 7 years
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Older children 145 cm or taller
occurs within the first 5 minutes of closing and leaving the car. Large cars heat up just as fast as smaller ones. Leaving the windows down slightly has little effect on the inside car temperature. Tests conducted by RACQ have shown that when car windows are left open by 10cm, the inside temperature is only 5 degrees C cooler than with the windows closed. Young children are more sensitive to heat than older children or adults as their body temperature can rise 3 to 5 times faster. This puts them at greater risk of heatstroke and other health risks as their body temperature reaches dangerous levels much sooner. Hot cars safety tips • If you have to leave the car, even to run a quick errand - take the children with you. • Never use the car as a substitute ‘babysitter’. • Never leave children in a car without adult supervision for anylength of time, not even a minute! • Lock cars and secure keys when at home to prevent children playing inside the car. • Make ‘look before you leave’ a routine whenever you get out of the car. • When a child is missing, in addition to checking backyard pools and any other bodies of water, be sure to check inside the car and the boot of any nearby vehicles. • Never leave valuables in the car, including your kids! Summer holiday travelling • Provide plenty of cool water and fluids throughout the journey. • Dress kids in lightweight and easy fit clothing. • When planning a long journey, consider travelling in the cooler hours of the day. • Plan to stop every 2 hours so all passengers can have a rest from travelling.
KIDS IN CARS - THE NUMBERS
5,000 Every year across Australia, approximately 5,000 children have to be rescued from cars.
30+ The temperature inside a parked car can be over 30 degrees hotter than outside.
75% of total temperature rise occurs within the first 5 minutes of parking a car.
4 Three quarters of children rescued from cars are aged under four years old.
Even on a cooler day, temperatures inside a car can reach well above 70°C
• If you need to protect babies or young children from sun through the car windows, use a visor or sunshade on the vehicle glass. • On every trip, check the fit of your child’s harness, child restraint tether straps and secure seatbelts to ensure they are correctly latched and firmly adjusted. What can you do if you see a child alone in a car? • If you notice that a child has been left unattended in a vehi-
cle 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. and 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! for more information visit kidsafevic.com.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
BUS SAFETY GETTING OFF THE BUS When waiting for children, you should wait on the same side of the road as the bus and meet your children at the bus stop. This reduces the risk of them running across the road without looking. Park thoughtfully and carefully. Keep the area around the bus stop clear so children can see approaching traffic. …and what children should do: • STOP! and stay well back from the edge of the road, move on to a footpath if there is one, and wait for the bus to leave. • Never cross in front of, or behind, the bus. • Only think about crossing once the school bus has gone and when they can see clearly both ways. • Never wear earphones or talk on their mobile phone when trying to cross, as you may not notice approaching traffic. • LOOK and LISTEN and when deciding to cross the road. They should ask themselves • ‘Can I see anything coming?’ and
‘Can I hear anything coming?’ • Only cross where drivers have a clear view of pedestrians. • Understand that vehicles may be travelling at high speed and therefore take longer to stop. • THINK! about when it is safe to cross. • Only cross when the road is clear or when the traffic has stopped. There is no need to rush. • Understand that it’s important to keep looking and listening for traffic while crossing. WAITING FOR THE BUS • Children must not push, run or play around near the bus stop. • Children should stay well back from the kerb or the edge of the road. • Allow plenty of time for children to get to the bus stop. • If the bus is late, children should remain at the bus stop until it arrives. • Children must wait for the bus to stop completely before they approach. TRAVELLING ON THE BUS • Children must stay seated, where a seat is available, and
Bus Association Victoria Inc is the voluntary professional association for Victoria’s accredited route, school, tour and charter and non-accredited (registered) bus and coach operators. On behalf of our members, BusVic undertake school and community safety education programmes to ensure students and the public stay as safe as possible on and around buses, including: • • •
Safe School Bus Travel sessions for Prep to Year 4 students. Public/bus transport and positive behaviour education for Year 5 to Year 10 students. Bus Safety Week – It’s a shared responsibility. A Victorian safety initiative.
Further information available at http://www.busvic.asn.au/public or call us on 03 9645 3300.
use seat belts if fitted. • Bus aisles must be kept clear of bags. • Children should not distract the driver - so the driver can concentrate on getting them to school safely. • Children must stay seated until the bus has stopped. • Children should not rush to get off the bus. WHY STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! IS IMPORTANT Bus travel is one of the safest ways to travel to school. Important safety concerns for children include: Some simple safety messages, outlined here, can help reduce these risks. • Crossing roads immediately in front of, or behind, the bus after getting off • Crossing before the bus has moved well away from the bus stop • Being distracted around bus stops by mobile phones, music players and other children Some simple safety messages, outlined here, can help reduce these risks. WORKING TOGETHER TO STAY BUS SAFE Helping children understand how they can stay safe every time they use the school bus is important. As well as this brochure, there is a website and a DVD to help children have some fun as they learn how to STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! Additionally, there are materials to help teachers present the message in class. So please, help your children to remember, understand and use the STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! safety message and help kids Stay Bus Safe Around The Bus Stop. This safety message is part of the Victorian Government’s Stay Bus Safe Around the Bus Stop initiative to help school children continue to stay safe when they use the bus. For more information visit www.education.vic.gov.au/staybussafe
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TRAM SAFETY There are a number of things that you can do to make your tram journey safer and more secure. Before your journey it is recommended that you top up your myki. Safety starts before you even get to the tram stop. Please listen and watch for traffic and trams. For your safety, the use of personal headphones is not recommended. Waiting for the tram • Always stand behind the line marking. • Do not lean against the safety railing at platform or roadside stops. • Never lean or walk out into the path of oncoming trams or traffic. • There can be many routes travelling through the one stop. Check the destination board on the oncoming tram and if it is your tram give the driver a wave to ensure you’re visible. • Before boarding have your myki ready to validate. • Be aware of the red stop signs on the doors that signal motorists to stop for passengers getting on and off the tram.
Getting on safely • When boarding from a kerbside stop, wait for all traffic to stop completely before you walk out onto the road to board the tram. • Please wait for passengers get off the tram before you board at any tram stop. • When boarding use the handrails to steady yourself when the tram moves. • Never bring food or drink on board a tram. Keep your hands free so that you can steady yourself. On board • Remember to hold onto the handrails. The tram may move off without you realising it, so be prepared or you may lose your balance. • Stay clear of the doorways once you have validated your myki. • When seated, place any bags on your lap. • Please offer your seat to elderly people, pregnant women and people who are mobility impaired. • If a seat is not available, move to an empty part of the tram, using the handrails to steady yourself. • Do not obstruct the doors when they are closing. If you need the doors reopened, attract the attention of the driver.
When standing on a tram • Place schoolbags, shopping bags or briefcases on the floor between your feet. • Allow other passengers room to move around you if they need to get off the tram. • Always have something to hold on to as the tram may have to brake suddenly.
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Getting off safely • Please provide the driver with plenty of notice for your stop by using the stop cord or button. • Never use your body, arms or hands to obstruct the tram doors while they are closing. If you miss your stop please inform the driver to ensure they allow the necessary time for you to disembark at the next stop. Reopening doors is at the drivers discretion. • When getting off the tram always watch your step and check for traffic. • Once you are off the tram, stay within the safety zone until the road is clear and it’s safe to cross. • Never walk out behind a tram to cross tram tracks as you may not see trams coming in the opposite direction. for more information visit ptv.vic.gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
TRAIN SAFETY There are a number of things that you can do to make your train journey safer and more secure. Before your journey, it is recommended that you top up your myki. This will save you time and ensure you don’t miss your ride when you get to the station. Victoria Police Protective Services Officers (PSOs) are there to keep you safe when travelling on Melbourne’s train network. For more information, see Victoria Police Protective Services Officers Safety at stations • Before you begin your train journey, check timetables and any connecting train, tram or bus services. • When waiting for the train, always stand behind the yellow line on the platform. • Avoid running in and around the station, particularly when footpaths and platform surfaces are wet. • Take care when using escalators and ensure clothing and bag straps do not get caught. • Passengers in wheelchairs or travelling with prams and trolleys should use the lifts where available. • Only cross train tracks at designated pedestrian crossings. Crossing at non-marked areas is dangerous and illegal. • Rollerblading, skateboarding and bicycle riding is not permitted on the station platform. Boarding and getting off trains • Stand behind the yellow line until the train comes to a complete stop. • Do not force the doors open or attempt to board when the train is leaving the platform. • Allow other passengers to step off the train before you board. • Drivers will assist passengers with special needs to board at the front carriage. Yellow or white markers on platforms indicate where the train will stop. • If you are travelling with a pram or shopping trolley, board at 60
the front carriage so that you’re clearly visible to the driver. • When boarding the train enter the pram first and lift the back in if the train isn’t level with the platform. When exiting the train, step off first and then pull the pram towards you. • Use the grab rails to steady yourself when boarding or alighting. • Prepare to alight before reaching your destination station, but make sure you have something to hold onto. Safety on board trains • Once you’re on board, take a seat or steady yourself by holding a grab rail if you are standing. • Avoid moving between carriages whilst the train is moving. • Passengers travelling with bicycles or surfboards are requested to avoid using peak hour trains where possible. • After 7pm, travel in the front carriage so you are close to the driver. • If there are other passengers on the train, sit near them, not by yourself. • Carry a phone card, spare
change or mobile phone. • Make sure your luggage is stowed correctly and avoid blocking the aisle. • Please offer your seat to elderly people, those with special needs and pregnant women. Security All stations are well lit and monitored by closed-circuit television cameras on platforms and at station entrances. This footage is monitored by control room staff located at Premium Stations. All non-staffed stations have communication links to these control rooms via the emergency button. By using this link you can communicate directly with staff equipped to deal with incidents. Metro Customer Service Officers travel on trains and visit stations to help you with your travel needs. Intelligence based tasking is used to focus on hotspots and ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. Victorian Police Transit Safety Division officers and local police also patrol trains and pay regular visits to all stations. While some officers are in uniform, many work
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penalty can be catastrophic. You are putting yours and others’ lives at risk if you disobey the rules. Between you and a train, you will come off second best.
in plain clothes. Remember, while you don’t see the uniform, the person sitting next to you could be a police officer. The presence of Customer Service Officers and police provides a deterrent for anti-social behaviour.
RAIL CROSSING SAFETY AWARENESS Don’t push your crossing luck Most people are unaware of the penalties associated with pushing their luck and illegally entering a level crossing while warning signals are flashing and sounding, or a train is visible. They are substantial. As a driver, you can be fined $758 and lose 4 demerit points. Depending on how many points you have left, this could mean you lose your licence. Pedestrians can be fined up to $379. So don’t waste your hard earned cash, be aware and alert around level crossings and trains. Take off those headphones and listen! Of course, the maximum
Always keep tracks clear Impatience can be fatal. It takes a train more than 200 metres to stop, therefore: • Never enter a level crossing if red lights are flashing. Wait for the lights to stop flashing before driving across railway tracks • Never drive under ascending or descending boom gates as an oncoming train is in the vicinity or a second train may be approaching • Never drive around boom gates when they are down - it is very likely that an oncoming train is close to the crossing • Never queue on a railway crossing - if you have stopped on a crossing and a train is approaching, immediately drive off the track or get out of your car and move clear. It is more likely than not, that the train will not be able to stop in time. Slow down and be prepared to stop It is important to take extra care when approaching a railway crossing and get into the habit of stopping, looking and listening for any sign of a train: • Not all railway crossings have warning bells and lights - for your own safety, always expect a train to be coming, keep your eyes open and your wits about you • Never rely on just a timetable to know if a train is due • Never race a train to a railway crossing • Trains can be travelling in either direction along the same track and on multiple tracks - be alert for more than one train passing through the crossing at the same time • Don’t be fooled by an optical illusion - trains in the distance are often closer and travelling
faster than they appear. See also VicRoads’ Trains and level crossings road rules. Using farm crossings Take care when using farm crossings: • when entering a property, stop well clear of the tracks, open the gate and then drive across after looking and listening for approaching trains • when leaving a property, never park a vehicle on the tracks while closing a gate - in the time it takes to open and close a gate, a train can be upon you.
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Safe use of rail pedestrian crossings It is everyone’s responsibility to use level crossings safely: • Cross railway lines at marked crossings only. • Stop one step back from the edge of the crossing before looking and listening in all directions for approaching trains. • Think about when it is safe to cross. This is when the tracks are clear and there are no trains approaching. • If a train is coming, wait for it to pass, then stop, look, listen and think again before crossing. Another train may be coming. • Always obey all warning signs. • Never jump fences, gates or barriers at crossings. • Never force pedestrian barriers open or use the emergency escape to enter pedestrian crossings, except in case of an emergency. • Children should always be supervised around public transport. Hold the hand of children up to five years old when crossing rail lines. • If using a wheelchair or mobility aid, or pushing a pram or stroller, and the barriers start to close while you are on the crossing, always go to the emergency escape gate ahead of you and not back to where you entered the crossing. For more information visit ptv.vic.gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
KEEPING SAFE IN CROWDS Any parent who has had a child wander away while in a crowded place knows that having a lost child is a very scary situation. Since kids are adventurous, having a lost child is relatively normal, but thankfully there are ways to protect their safety while you are out. FOLLOWING ARE SOME TIPS ON KEEPING KIDS SAFE AND NEARBY WHILE IN A CROWD. • Take a picture on your phone before you leave the house. If you are separated from your child when you are out, a digital photo from your phone (taken the day of the event or travel) can be utilised by police to immediately get your child’s face out to other law 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 62
another possibility to keep toddlers from wandering away, since in most cases, they aren’t old enough to know that it is dangerous to walk away. IF SOMEONE TRIES TO SNATCH YOUR CHILD: • Teach your children to struggle with anyone whom they don’t know, or whom they don’t trust, if they are trying to grab or force the children to go with them • Tell children to make a lot of noise if they’re scared. They have probably been told lots of times not to yell. Tell your children when they think they might be in danger, forget all of that advice! That’s the perfect time to be noisy! DEALING WITH STRANGERS When you’re walking home from school, a person in a car pulls up and asks you for directions. At the park, someone says he needs you to help look for his lost puppy. These people may seem friendly, but no matter what they say to you, they have one thing in common: They’re strangers. Most strangers aren’t dangerous and wouldn’t do anything to hurt kids. Unfortunately, though, some strangers can be dangerous, and it’s impossible to tell who’s OK and who’s not. A dangerous person doesn’t necessarily look scary or mean — the person might look nice. THAT’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THESE BASIC SAFETY RULES ALL THE TIME: • Stick With a Friend – it’s more fun and safer to do things with friends. Take along a buddy when you walk to school, bike around the park, or go to the store. Travelling with a friend whenever you can is a good idea, and travelling with a bunch of kids is even better. • Let Grown-Ups (and Only Grown-Ups) Help Strangers – it’s nice to help people. But remember: Strangers should ask adults, not kids, for help. • If a Stranger Pulls Up in a Car
and Offers you a Ride, Don’t Get In. You probably know that rule, right? But that’s not all of it. It’s also important to avoid a stranger’s car completely. If a stranger asks you to look in the car, don’t do it. Don’t put your arm in the window to take something or point to something. Don’t agree to come closer to see a pet or to get a toy that’s offered. If a Stranger Offers You a Toy, Some Candy, a Stuffed Animal, or Anything Else, Don’t Ever Take It. Even if it’s something you really want, if the offer is coming from a stranger, you should ignore the person and walk the other way. If a Stranger Walks Up or Pulls Up in a Car and You’re Too Far Away to Hear the Person, Don’t Go Closer, Even If the Person Waves You Over. Just get away. Run the opposite way that the car is heading. Get to an adult you know, a police officer, a security guard, or one of your safe spots as fast as you can if the stranger comes toward you. What If a Stranger Comes To Pick You Up From School, Sports, Dancing Lessons, or the Park? This is no different from any other time — a stranger is a stranger, so don’t get in the car. Even if the stranger says that your parents sent him or her, or that there’s an emergency and you must get in the car and go to the hospital, turn right around and tell an adult what happened. Your parents would have told you if someone else was coming to pick you up, and if an emergency really did occur, they would send someone you already know, not a stranger. 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.
TECHNOLOGY & DRIVING Using a mobile phone or other device, like a Smartwatch, while driving or riding can be distracting, increasing your chance of being involved in a crash or near crash. Looking at or touching a device at the same time as being in control of a vehicle is particularly dangerous. Safe driving tips for mobile phones and other devices Observe these tips to stay safe on the road: • Use Road Mode (External link) an android app that prevents you from being distracted by your phone while you drive. • If your phone has another app or function that prevents distraction while driving, you can also use that. • Consider putting your phone
on silent and out of reach, or turn it off. • Divert all calls to voicemail. • Pull over safely and park to make or receive a call. • Plan breaks in your trip for phone calls. • Tell your family and friends not to call when you know you’ll be driving. • If you are using your phone hands free, warn callers you are driving and may have to end the call. • Don’t make calls in heavy traffic, poor road conditions or bad weather. • Never look up phone numbers. • Never read or send text messages. • Don’t use Smartwatches or other similar devices. • Remember, taking your eyes off the road for 2 seconds or more doubles your crash risk. A mobile phone can be important in an emergency. If you need
to use your mobile phone to call for help, stop and park safely where you will not endanger yourself or other road users. All drivers All drivers face tough penalties for illegal use of a mobile phone or interacting with other units that have visual displays while driving (e.g. DVD players or tablet computers) that are not driver’s aids. The penalties are 4 demerit points and a $455 fine. The penalties are 4 demerit points and a $455 fine. It’s a proven fact that using a mobile phone while driving can be distracting. Taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds or more doubles your crash risk. Research shows that the behaviour of a manual or visual distraction whilst driving causes crashes and near misses. for more information visit vicroads.gov.au www.childsafetyhub.com.au
TAKE CARE IN THE SUN
TIPS FOR LOOKING AFTER YOUR LITTLE ONES
Kids love the hot weather, but before they go out in the sun, make sure you take care of their skin. Here are a few tips on how you can make the most of their time outdoors without putting them at risk.
KIDS NEED MORE SUN PROTECTION THAN ADULTS Children’s skin is delicate and more vulnerable to UV damage and sunburn. So make sure they use very high SPF products. Especially formulated for children’s delicate skin, NIVEA Sun Kids Roll-On Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ provides very high sun protection and 4-hour water resistance. Sun protection is not only about sunscreen; make sure they are wearing protective clothing, a hat and sunnies. HOW MUCH SUNSCREEN SHOULD I APPLY? Knowing how to apply sunscreen is crucial for ensuring skin is properly protected. Firstly make sure sunscreen is applied 20 minutes before going into the sun. Secondly, use approximately 7 teaspoons or 35ml for a full body application to adequately protect your body from the sun.
YOU CAN STILL BURN IN THE WATER. Sunburn is just as common in the water. So make sure your kids are slathered up with water resistant sunscreen before they go splashing about in the surf. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REAPPLY SUNSCREEN? Always apply plenty of sunscreen evenly at least 20 minutes before you go out in the sun. Reapply every 2 hours or more often if sweating, swimming or towelling off! IS A MOISTURISING SUNSCREEN IMPORTANT? Dry skin is less able to retain the moisture needed to maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier, which may make it more susceptible to harmful UV rays. Moisturising ingredients like Vitamin E help keep the protective barrier strong. All NIVEA Sun products contain moisturisers to help keep skin hydrated and protected. WATCH OUT FOR CLOUDS! You can get sunburnt even when it’s cloudy. UV rays can penetrate clouds, so even when it’s grey outside, make sure you wear sunscreen! For more information go to NIVEA.com.au
Always read the label. Use only as directed. ASMI 28195-0917
OUTDOOR SAFETY SUN SAFETY Why use sun protection The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer, sunburn, premature ageing, and eye damage. UV damage in childhood significantly increases our risk of skin cancer. So it is important to help children develop good sun protection habits. Show children how to be SunSmart through role modelling and encourage independent sun protection behaviours. When to use sun protection Sun protection is recommended whenever UV levels reach 3 or higher. Because you cannot see or feel UV, you can’t rely on your senses to let you know when you’re in danger. Don’t just wait for hot or sunny days. Check the free SunSmart app each day, so you know when you need sun protection. What sun protection should we use? Active, outdoor play is important for health and development. Whenever you are outside during the sun protection times, make sure the whole family is well protected – including the adults – by using the five SunSmart steps. 1. Slip on clothing 2. Slop on sunscreen 3. Slap on a hat 4. Seek shade 5. Slide on sunglasses 1. Slip on covering clothing If you can see skin, UV can reach it. Try to cover as much skin as possible with cool, loose-fitting clothing. If a child is wearing a singlet top or dress with thin straps, don’t forget to layer up with a t-shirt or shirt before outdoor play. 2. Slop on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen Sunscreen should be the last line of defence after clothing, a hat,
sunglasses and shade. For any skin not covered by clothing, apply a generous amount of SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply every two hours, and after swimming and water play. Sunscreen tips for parents • Choose a sunscreen that your child feels comfortable wearing and is easy to apply. • When trying a new sunscreen on children, test it on a small patch of skin first to make sure it is suitable. • The Australasian College of Dermatologists does not recommend widespread regular use of chemical sunscreens on babies under 6 months. • Many brands of sunscreen have a baby or toddler formula. These are just as protective, but much gentler on the skin. Look for sunscreens that have been tested for sensitive skin. • From about the age of three, let children practise applying sunscreen so they can develop this skill ready for pre-school and school. • Set up a sunscreen station in the bathroom at home so children can apply their sunscreen in front of the mirror and then wipe their hands. • Pop sunscreen in the cooler section of the lunchbox so it will be cold when applying – especially refreshing on a hot, summer’s day. • Try a clip-on sunscreen that can hang from your child’s bag and act as a visual reminder. • Remember role modelling – children learn best from what they see adults doing.
Hat styles • For babies, choose a fabric that will crumple easily when they put their head down. • For younger children choose a hat size that is proportional to the size of the child’s head and provides shade across the face and neck areas. • For older children, a bucket hat should have a deep crown and angled brim which is at least 6cm. A wide brimmed hat should have a brim that is at least 7.5cm. The side flap and front peak of a legionnaire hat should meet to protect the side of the face. • Hats that can be adjusted at the crown are best. If the hat is secured with a long strap and toggle, ensure it has a safety snap, place the strap at the back of the head or trim the length so it doesn’t become a choking hazard.
3. Slap on a hat Choose a hat that shades the head, face, eyes, ears and neck. Bucket, wide-brimmed or legionnaire hats are best. Baseball caps do not offer enough protection and are not recommended.
5. Slide on sunglasses Eyes are very sensitive to UV damage. Where it is practical, try to protect your child’s eyes every day with sunglasses when they are outdoors. A sun-protective hat will also help reduce UV damage to the eyes.
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4. Seek shade Shade is an important sun protection tool for all ages. In particular, babies under 12 months have very sensitive skin and should always be kept out of direct sunlight. Shade tips • The shade moves with the sun, so be prepared to move around a bit and follow the shade. • Trees with dense foilage with a dark, even shade patch are the best types of natural shade. • Take portable shade with you to make sure you will not be caught out. Consider a beach or market umbrella or shade tent. • Use a shade visor or hang a blanket over the side windows in the car. Side and back windows don’t offer as much protection as the front windscreen.
We can safely say that kids love our party pies as much as we do. As part of the Patties Foods family, parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; safety at work is vital. To ensure the safety of parents and to return parents safely home at the end of every work day, we have two key messages:
1. People before Profit
2. Work Safe to Live Sa
BEACH SAFETY Millions of people visit at least one of Australia’s beautiful beaches every year. These famous beaches are not only enjoyed by lucky Australians but also visitors from all over the world – some who come for a visit, and others who choose to make Australia their home. Although Australian beaches may look amazing, they can be unpredictable and hide some dangers that every visitor should be aware of. Here you will find some very helpful info and advice from our Lifeguards on beach safety, to ensure you enjoy your visit to the beach and stay safe! Always swim between the red and yellow flags When you see red and yellow flags on a beach, it indicates that there is currently a lifesaving service operating on that beach. The lifeguards have chosen a section of the beach that is best for swimming and they will closely supervise this area. Lifeguards pay more attention to the area between the red and yellow flags than any other part of the beach. Read the safety signs Before you go on to the beach be sure to read the safety signs. This will ensure you are aware of any warnings or dangers on the beach. You can also find other helpful information to make your day at the beach more enjoyable. You might also find single signs placed on the beach to highlight specific warnings. Ask a lifeguard for safety advice Lifeguards are highly trained and very knowledgeable about beach safety and conditions. When you arrive at the beach look for and identify the lifeguards. Feel free to ask them about the day’s conditions, as well any additional beach safety advice they might have for that specific beach – because every beach is different.
Swim with a friend Not only is swimming with a friend (or family member) a fun way to enjoy the beach, it is also very sensible. While you are swimming together you can keep an eye out for each other, and if further assistance is required, one person could call or go for help. If everyone swimming together knows their own limits it is a good idea to share this with those around you so you can all stay within everyone’s comfortable limits. If you need help, stay calm and attract attention Even the most careful people can find themselves out of their limits in the water. If you are not feeling comfortable in the water and you require a lifeguard’s assistance to get back to shore, stay calm, raise your arm in the air and wave it from side to side. This will attract the attention of a lifeguard who will be able to come to your assistance. You should conserve your energy by floating on your back and staying calm. This will ensure you have the energy to remain afloat until further aid arrives.
RIP CURRENTS Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. The best way to avoid a rip is to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags. Rip currents are strong currents of water flowing away from shore through the surf zone. They are a strong force and on any given day, there are about 17,000 rips at beaches around Australia. The Facts about Rip Currents There are many myths about the ocean. Many people think it’s just tourists and poor swimmers who get caught in rips currents. In fact,
it’s young men aged 15-39 years who are most likely to die in rips. Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. The best way to avoid a rip is to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags. How to Spot a Rip Current Rips are complex, can quickly change shape and location, and at times, are difficult to see. The things to look for are; • Deeper, dark-coloured water. • Fewer breaking waves. • A rippled surface surrounded by smooth waters. • Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves. Rips don’t always show all of these signs at once.
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Learn How to Survive a Rip
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. www.childsafetyhub.com.au
BOATING SAFETY Lifejackets are the most important piece of safety equipment on any recreational vessel. And in many situations you and your passengers are required by law to wear one. Penalties apply, and Maritime Safety Victoria and the Water Police will be cracking down this summer. We all enjoy a great day out on the water and in Victoria boating is massive with more than 170,000 registered boats, but with boating comes some risks. No one ever expects that it will happen to them but occasionally out on the water things can go wrong. That’s when you’ll need one of these. This is a lifejacket and as the name suggests it can save your life. It’s a fact that’s backed up by some pretty grim statistics. In 2013 ten people lost their lives while boating in Victorian waters and none of them were wearing lifejackets at the time. Maritime Safety Victoria is leading the push to turn those numbers around by encouraging boaters to know and understand the lifejacket regulations. There are a range of circumstances where boaters are required to wear lifejackets while boating on Victoria’s waterways. The main category is for power vessels that are less than 4.8 m. In that circumstance, all people on board must wear a lifejacket while the vessel is underway. A vessel is considered to be underway unless anchored or tied up to the shore. A drifting boat is definitely underway and lifejackets need to be on. This rule also applies to kayaks and canoes, off the beach yachts plus high performance PWCs. The simple reason being that you are more likely to end up in the water while operating a craft like this. There is also a one size fits all rule that applies kids. With kids, all children under 10
need to be wearing a lifejacket. My suggestion is that you actually take the kids into a shop and get them properly fitted. They have a crotch strap so that if they do fall in, the jacket isn’t going to go over their head Now, even if your boat is bigger than 4.8 m, here in Victoria, there are times when you will still need to wear your lifejacket by law. Times of heightened risk, Andrew, and they could include times when you are crossing a bar way, times when there are weather warnings in place, times of reduced visibility and also times when you are operating your vessel by yourself. Operating alone is most certainly a heightened risk. It’s not only law but a very good idea to be wearing your lifejacket so if you get separated from your vessel you’ve got a much better chance of survival. The rule of heightened risk applies to powered vessels up to 12 metres in length as well as yachts. It means that you need to be wearing your lifejacket if you are alone onboard the vessel, in the dark or reduced visibility, if a severe weather warning has been issued and whenever crossing an ocean bar or in a designated hazardous area. By law these are the times when your life jackets is required to be worn but as more and more Victorian boaters are discovering, wearing a lifejacket makes good sense every time you head out on the water. We know now that the types of lifejackets that are available are comfortable, you’re unencumbered, they are relatively cheap in the picture of fishing, I’d be wearing one all the time. And like seatbelts, you know, no one wanted to wear a seat belt when they were first introduced. But now a lot of guys I know who’ve been fishing for many years but only in the last 5 or 10 years have been wearing jackets, they are comfortable in them now, they’re used to them, they’re
happy to wear them. So remember wear your lifejacket or others wear the consequences. For more information visit: wearalifejacket.vic.gov.au
KIDS ON FARMS 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. For younger children • Create a safe, secure, supervised play area with self closing gates for younger children away from farm activities. These are also useful for visiting children who may not be aware of farm hazards. • Ensure family members and visitors are aware of the safe play area and keep gates closed at all times. • Teach children the difference between safe play areas and
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work areas. • Separate driveways and turning circles from home and play areas.
equipment when riding bikes. • Check that the bike is suited to the child’s size and ability.
For older children • Establish and reinforce safety rules for such as ‘out of bounds’ areas. • Ensure they let adults know where they are going on the farm. • Teach children the difference between safe play areas and work areas.
SAFETY AROUND ANIMALS It is important to remember that all animals can be unpredictable even those we keep as pets. Children should be encouraged to respect animals and learn how to care and interact safely with them. • Ensure that all animal pens and stockyards are inaccessible to young children. • Match farm jobs involving animals to your children’s age and development. • When riding a horse, children should wear an approved helmet that fits correctly. • Select the horse carefully and always supervise.
WATER SAFETY Farms have many water areas and these can be very hazardous to children. Tragically drowning is the main cause of deaths for children on farms - most occurring in dams. • Reduce any access for children to dams and waterways. • Ensure wells, sheep dips, tanks, troughs and any containers are covered. • Check dams and creeks for change in conditions such as higher water levels and debris. • Teach children basic water awareness and safety skills. • Adults on farms should have current first aid training. • Place CPR charts around the home and working areas. VEHICLE SAFETY Vehicles and machinery are an essential part of farm life. Unfortunately they are also a leading cause of injury. • Children should not ride on tractors or in the back of utes. • Children should not ride quad bikes or be carried as passengers on quad bikes. • Always supervise children when vehicles are being moved. Hold 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
OTHER FARM HAZARDS • Always store hazardous products such as poisons, chemicals and pesticides in line with regulations or manufacturer’s instructions. • Choose appropriate child proof containers to store chemicals and poisons. Do not use soft drink bottles or other containers that may be mistaken by children. • Ensure power tools and other dangerous machinery are
unplugged when not in use and stored safely away from children. • Some farm machinery is very loud which can damage ears. Consider the location of the equipment and keep protective safety equipment in easy to reach places. • Ensure firearms are stored appropriately and correctly as specified by law at all times. • Provide adequate shade coverage to protect young children from the sun. SAFETY TIPS FOR KEEPING KIDS SAFE ON FARMS • Create a safe fenced play area for children away from farm activities. • Always supervise children on the farm particularly around water and animals. • Keep dangerous goods locked safely away. • Always use appropriate restraints for all children when travelling in vehicles. • Be a good role model for children in vehicles and around the farm. • Establish and enforce farm safe rules. For more information you can also visit: farmsafe.org.au royallifesaving.com.au
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PLAYGROUND SAFETY • Children using playground equipment can experience many health, social and cognitive benefits. • Although children sometimes fall from playground equipment, you can reduce the risk of injury by keeping an eye your children, encouraging the use of age-appropriate equipment and allowing them to explore creative but safe ways to move. • Maintain a soft surface under and around all play equipment to a depth of 300mm. Play is an important part of a child’s development. Playing outside in the fresh air can be fun and adventurous, particularly when there are playmates. However, many Australian children are less active than they should be. Create safe play areas for children – separate play areas from driveways and roads. Young children must be within eyesight of an adult at all times while outdoors. The backyard or local playground provides lots of scope to run, climb, swing, explore and play imaginary games. With careful planning however, play environments can be challenging and safe for children. Playground benefits for children Being outdoors encourages all types of free play and helps children understand their environment. Playgrounds provide children with a range of experiences and opportunities including: • being physically active • being challenged and taking risks • socialising with friends • learning to cooperate • using their imagination • playing independently. A well-designed playground will stimulate a child’s imagination and encourage them to explore new dimensions to play.
Playground injuries can be avoided Almost three-quarters (70 per cent) of injuries in playgrounds are the result of falls. Most playground injuries are minor, such as scratches or bruises. However, sometimes, playground injuries result in fractures. Other rare but serious injuries include spinal and head injuries. Climbing can be fun but the high drops might increase the risk of injury. Given their own time and space, most children will safely and gradually increase the distance they can climb. To help make landings safer, you can check to see if the ground beneath the equipment is made of loosely filled materials such as mulch or sand, rather than harder materials. With well-thought-out planning, play environments can be made safe for children and injuries can be avoided.
Tips for protecting your child’s safety To protect children, it is important to: • Plan ahead for active time and aim to get children outdoors as often as possible in safe environments. • Limit their play to equipment appropriate for their age and abilities. • Supervise them at all times. • Be a role model of active but sensible play and encourage them how to use the equipment creatively, but safely. • Make sure that the children drink enough fluids. Provide water to enable children to rehydrate after playing, or if it is particularly hot, during play. • Modify play for a sick or injured child if they are well enough to express an interest. • Place less emphasis on competing and more on creativity, socialising, having fun and participation. • With the exception of the winter months, protect your child
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from the sun with appropriate clothes, a cap and sunscreen. Local council playgrounds Equipment in a public playground generally caters for children of all ages. Your child might be at risk of injury from a piece of equipment designed for older children. Safety tips include: • Make sure your child only uses equipment that is appropriate for their age, strength and coordination. • Remind your child to be aware of other children playing, particularly near swings or other moving pieces of equipment. • Contact your local council if the equipment needs repair or maintenance work. Where to get help • In an emergency, dial triple zero (000) to call an ambulance • Your doctor • Emergcare (for first aid course) Tel. (03) 9304 1622 • Local council • Safety Centre, Royal Children’s Hospital Tel. (03) 9345 5085 • Sports medicine Australia – Smartplay Tel. (03) 9674 8777 • Playgrounds and Recreation Association of Victoria Tel. (03) 9412 4013 • The Royal Children’s Hospital Kids Health Info Tel. (03) 9345 6429 Things to remember • Children using playground equipment can experience many health, social and cognitive benefits. • Although children sometimes fall from playground equipment, you can reduce the risk of injury by keeping an eye your children, encouraging the use of age-appropriate equipment and allowing them to explore creative but safe ways to move. • Maintain a soft surface under and around all play equipment to a depth of 300mm.
PETS AND CHILDREN Things to remember: We’ve long loved dogs for being man’s best friend, but not so well known is that our pets can actually make us physically and mentally healthier. Just the presence of our pets can lift our spirits and help us relax. Physical health benefits Research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of physical health benefits • Increased cardiovascular health (lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides and in men, lower cholesterol) • Increased physical activity. Dogs especially help us get out and enjoy the outdoors while getting some regular exercise. They are great motivators and personal trainers, never wanting to miss a training session no matter the weather. • Fewer visits to the doctor • Growing up with a dog (and other pets to a lesser extent) during infancy may help to strengthen the immune system and may reduce the risk of allergies • Children who have pets are less likely to miss days of school due to illness
Psychological benefits Research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of psychological benefits • A study of school children showed that pet owners were more popular but also seemed more empathetic. • Those who have pets including children or adolescents have been shown to have higher self-esteem. Teenagers who own pets have a more positive outlook on life and report less loneliness, restlessness, despair and boredom. • Pet owners report less depression and appear to cope with grief, stress and loss better than non-pet owners. • Pets enhance social connectedness and social skills and are great conversation starters! • Pets are also great caregivers. They keep us company when we’re sick or feeling down. They can make us feel safe while we’re home alone and they keep an eye on the house while we’re out. For more information visit: www.rspca.org.au
DRUG AND ALCOHOL AWARENESS Talking to your kids aged 15-17 For some parents, talking to your teenager about alcohol and setting rules and boundaries to keep them safe, can be daunting. Many parents feel that it’s their responsibility to create strategies and educate their children on when, where and how to drink. However some parents can struggle with how to provide this guidance. It’s vital that parents keep the lines of communication open through the teen years. Make sure you have frank discussions about alcohol. • Debunk some of the popular and unhelpful myths – e.g. not every parent provides their child with alcohol. • Be prepared. Teenagers will raise the topic of alcohol if and when they’re ready to talk. Be ready to have the conversation and address their queries – that’s when they’re most open to hear your advice. Remember to plan what you want to say to them ahead of time. • Be aware of your own role modelling when it comes to alcohol. Parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s attitude and behaviours towards alcohol by being role models for their kids. Tips for the talk • Pick your time. The car can be a great place and time for constructive conversations – they’re a captive audience and there’s also the benefit that they don’t have to be facing you. • Be consistent in your own behaviour. It’s easier for teens to model their behaviour on positive role models when it’s consistent. • Draw the line between adult activities and child activities. Don’t be afraid to let your child know that some things aren’t appropriate for teens. If you believe that drinking alcohol is 72
only something that adults do, make sure they hear your views on the matter. • Challenge unfounded statements. If your child tells you that ‘everyone else drinks’, ask them to provide proof. • Challenge their beliefs. Be aware that teenagers are likely to want to drink alcohol believing it will help them fit in. They need to know they can fit in without drinking. • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your GP or local health professional is available for you and your teen.
large amounts of alcohol at home before heading out. Often they’re already intoxicated before they walk out the front door. By the time they get to where they’re going their judgement is clouded, causing them to continue drinking more than they intended to, so they don’t save money at all. If your teen really believes getting drunk every weekend is normal, there could be other factors at play. Perhaps there are other influences in their lives (peers, older siblings, relatives) or problems that you’re unaware of. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
Binge drinking – putting things in perspective Binge drinking is not just about the number of drinks you have – it’s about drinking with the specific intention of ‘getting drunk’. Binge drinking receives a great deal of media attention and can lead to shaping teens beliefs that this is the norm. There’s no denying that there are many young people who drink in risky ways, but there are many teenagers who are trying their best to keep themselves and their friends as safe as possible.
Talking to your kids aged 9-14 Kids are interested in what’s going on around them and seeing how their role models use alcohol is part of this. So it’s important to start talking to your kids about alcohol. And the right time to start is right now. Research shows that parents have the greatest impact on shaping their children’s attitude to alcohol and future drinking behaviour. The role alcohol plays in your life will have an effect on them too. They might ask you about alcohol and what it’s like to drink it. Always answer honestly. • Talk to your child about alcohol and the importance of drinking in moderation. Explain what happens to the body when you drink too young and too much. • Set rules – the most important one being not to drink. Be sure to discuss this rule and agree on the consequences if not followed. • Teach them to say ‘no’ and that not everyone drinks. • Ask them how they feel about you drinking alcohol. What attitudes have they already formed about it? It will help you reflect on your own drinking behaviours and open up the lines of communication.
Remember: kids absorb your drinking. Australian research shows that in 2011 around 63% of 17 year olds were not considered to be current drinkers, so this finding may challenge the belief that everybody is doing it. However of those 17 year olds who were considered to be current drinkers, around 19% drank in a risky way (more than 4 drinks) at least once in the week before they were surveyed. That means there’s only a minority of kids who are binge drinking – but they’re still obvious and influential. Some young people ‘preload’ to save money – quickly drinking
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DRUG AND ALCHOHOL AWARENESS
Don’t turn a foolie this Schoolies Schoolies. It’s a little word for a big week. It’s the holiday Year 12s all over Australia have been waiting for. But above all, it’s the chance to celebrate the end of school…finally. Hold up. Before you race out there, make sure you’re prepared. Not knowing the risks or what to do in an emergency can turn things ugly, fast. Wherever you’re planning on spending schoolies, it’s always good to have a plan. Around alcohol people can change and the risks are high. So here are a few tips for a fun, safe Schoolies Week: • Let your parents know where you’re staying and who you’re going with. • Keep in contact with your parents throughout the week – so they know you’re safe (they’re less likely to hassle you then too) • Register as a school leaver with the local council (or schoolies organisation) in the area you’re visiting. • Always have your phone on you (and charged!) • Put your ‘in case of emergency number’ (ICE) in your phone. • In an emergency call 000. • Keep money aside for emergencies. • Eat before you drink – preferably carbohydrate-rich food such as rice, bread, pasta, pizza etc. It’ll help slow the rate your body absorbs alcohol. • Be extra cautious with drinks. Avoid drinks with high alcohol content and beware of drink spiking – don’t let your drink out of your sight. • Pace your alcohol intake and hydrate with non-alcoholic drinks like water. • Stay with friends and keep an eye out for one another. • Don’t drink drive or get into a car with anyone who’s been drinking. • Avoid risky situations such as swimming after drinking or getting into arguments and fights. for more information visit “drinkwise.org.au
TOP 10 TIPS FOR PARENTS Here are 10 ways to encourage your kids to talk about drugs with you.
Be an active part of their lives Make sure you set aside time to spend with your kids. Take an interest in their interests and establish a routine for doing things with them. Spending time as a family is important, like eating together every day. When they go out, don’t be afraid to ask where they’re going or who they’ll be with.
Listen to your kids Showing that you’re prepared and willing to listen will help your kids feel more comfortable about listening to you. During a conversation try not to interrupt them or react in a way that will stop whatever you’re discussing. Encourage them to feel comfortable about telling you their problems, and ask for their input on family decisions to show that you value their opinions.
Be a role model When it comes to drugs there’s no such thing as ‘do as I say, not as I do’. If you take drugs yourself you can’t expect your kids to take your advice. It’s important not to underestimate the influence your behaviour has on them, particularly when it comes to alcohol or tobacco, or misuse of medications.
Be honest with them It’s natural that you won’t necessarily know everything about drugs. So while it’s important to be informed, you shouldn’t pretend to have answers to every question. Be prepared to say ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out for you’. If you’re honest and clear about where you stand, your kids will find it easier to be honest with you.
Pick your moment Make sure you pick the right time to discuss drugs with your kids, by looking for natural opportunities as they arise. This might be when you’re all watching TV, or when they’re talking about someone at their school or in their friendship group.
Be calm When it comes to talking about drugs, being calm and rational is important, as well as not overreacting. Make sure not to ridicule or lecture, as this could make future discussions about drugs more difficult and make your kids more resistant to talking about them at all.
Avoid conflict It is difficult to solve a problem where there’s a conflict. Try to see their point of view while encouraging them to understand yours. If a confrontation does develop, stop the conversation and come back to it when you’re both calmer.
Keep talking Once you’ve had a discussion about drugs it’s important to have another. Start talking to your kids about drugs early, and be willing to talk to your kids about the issue at any time.
Set clear boundaries Generally kids expect and appreciate some ground rules. By actively involving them in setting the rules you can encourage them to take more responsibility for sticking to them. Once you’ve decided on these rules, enforce them, and let your kids know the consequences of breaking them. Discuss and agree to ways your kids will act if they find themselves in situations where drugs are present. For example, let them know that you’ll always collect them if they need you to, whatever the hour. However, make it absolutely clear that you would rather they didn’t put themselves in a situation where they are likely to be exposed to drugs in the first place.
Focus on positives Be sure to reward your kids’ good behaviour and emphasise the things they do well. Encourage them to feel good about themselves and let them know that they deserve respect and should also respect themselves.
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Child Safety HANDBOOK
Approximately 260 children die and 58,000 are hospitalised every year due to unintentional injury in Australia There is no higher priority than protecting our children and Police Legacy continues their commitment to child safety. The greatest tool available to combat youth vulnerability is through knowledge. This handbook is for every family and includes everything we need as a community to protect our most valuable and vulnerable resource â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our children.