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Many families entertain and visit friends and relatives during the summer holidays. Parents should be mindful that while adults are catching up socially, children will actively look for alternative entertainment but unfamiliar places can be full of hazards.

Here are some tips to help you and your children of all ages enjoy a safe summer break.

When entertaining and drinking alcohol

The combination of summer, Christmas and the New Year provide plenty of opportunities to unwind and visit friends and relatives.

Keep watch on alcoholic drinks and make sure they are not left where small hands can reach them. Similarly, a bowl of nuts or an ashtray left on a coffee table can pose a major choking hazard for a young child. Cigarettes and butts can also poison children and cigarette lighters should not be left around where children can access to them either.

If visiting someone else’s home, be mindful that they may not have child proofed danger areas such as kitchens and bathrooms or garden areas containing a fish pond or a significant drop off the side of a rockery or hill.

Even bedrooms can be dangerous if pills, medications or small coins are left by the bedside.

Tips for a safe Christmas

Small Christmas decorations are particularly fascinating for young children. Make sure they are kept out of reach as they may pose choking hazards.

Christmas trees can also tip over when tugged and Christmas lights can pose an electrical hazard for young, inquisitive children.

Each year NSW Fair Trading identifies new toys that have the potential to harm young children. Age labelling such as ‘not suitable for children under 3’ is not an indicator of skill, but means there are small parts that could be swallowed. Anything smaller than a 20 cent piece can choke a child under 3 years old.

  • projectile toys can be dangerous, particularly for young children
  • toy chests and boxes should be designed not to close on top of children, or should have a removable lid
  • be mindful of ventilation when buying children's equipment such as tents and masks
  • check toys for sharp edges or rough surfaces as they can cause cuts or splinters
  • toys on wheels may roll onto a road or out of a safe area. They should only be used in a fenced area with a gate.

The content on this page was taken from: Child safety - school holiday parent kit.

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