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Safety inside and outside the house

Tips about how to keep children safe wherever they may be, including in the car, at the beach or pool, during hot weather and holidays, and at play..

Outdoor safety

Parents well know that playing outside is great fun for children. Being naturally curious, they'll take every opportunity to learn and experience their environment but that can mean they're out of sight very quickly.

When outside the house, children need to be accompanied and closely supervised by a parent or adult carer to keep them safe.

Parks and playground safety

These simple safety measures will help your child stay safe and avoid injuries in parks and playgrounds:

  • familiarise yourself with neighbourhood parks and playgrounds and always check equipment and surfacing to make sure they're in good condition before allowing children to play
  • look for broken or vandalised equipment or parts. Keep an eye out for broken glass that poses a hazard for bare feet and kids in sandals
  • talk with your child about the safest route walking to and from the park
  • check that they know safe places to cross the road plus safe road crossing procedures, such as holding the hand of a trusted adult.

On the street

Being out-and-about in traffic is dangerous for children because their short stature makes it difficult for drivers to see them – particularly in driveways where vehicles may be reversing. Children don't have the experience to estimate the speed and distance of moving vehicles.

  • supervise young pedestrians and ensure they are holding the hand of an adult on the footpath, in the car park and when crossing the road (until the're at least 10-years-old)
  • always cross the roads using a pedestrian crossing when available or at the lights
  • remind your child that cars don’t always stop, even when they should

Every time you cross the road with your child, you can go through the following procedure:

  • STOP one step back from the edge of the kerb
  • LOOK for traffic by turning your head to the right, then the left and back to the right again
  • LISTEN for approaching traffic
  • THINK about whether it's completely safe to cross. Then walk across the road turning your head both right and left to look and listen for approaching traffic as you go.

Road safety for smaller wheels

Teach children that wearing a helmet when cycling, riding or skating should be as automatic as wearing a seat belt in the car. They should also wear other appropriate safety gear such as knee and elbow pads.

Riding bikes or trikes in driveways can be dangerous. As well as the risk of being hit by a car, when they’re learning, children can accidentally roll onto the road into passing traffic. Until they are at least 10-years-old children should ride their bikes or wheeled toys in a fenced area away from vehicles, roads or traffic.

Children up to 12-years-old and adults accompanying them may cycle on the footpath, unless signs indicate otherwise.

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Last updated: 24 Sep 2019