Safety Guidelines

Whether inside the home, in the backyard or out and about, safety is paramount. Children are naturally very curious and will take every opportunity to experience their environment and learn. They can get into trouble or be out of sight very quickly so it’s best that you have some safety guidelines in place to keep everyone safe.

Areas where safety guidelines need to be considered:

  • Environmental conditions - ensure guidelines limit access to dangerous items or situations that are inappropriate to the child's understanding and stage of development.
  • Activities - for example, using a pair of scissors, helping with meal preparation. A small child may not be aware of the dangers involved. Ensure that activities match the child’s stage of development, age and abilities.
  • Adult supervision - parents / carer may over-estimate their child’s abilities to cope in different situations or environments or underestimate the potential for dangers in various situations and environments to children for adult supervision is recommended at all times.

When you begin a new position it’s always best to take stock of the current situation and anywhere you may have safety concerns. Kidsafe have a great checklist:

Throughout the home

  • Floor coverings are free of trip hazards
  • Safety barriers are provided at the top and bottom of stairs and steps to prevent falls
  • Railings are designed to prevent children climbing
  • A safety switch has been installed and is operational
  • Safety covers are fitted in unused power outlets
  • Power boards are used instead of adaptors
  • Power boards are not overloaded
  • Electrical appliances are in good working order
  • Electrical appliances are switched off and unplugged when not in use and cords stored out of reach of children
  • Blind and curtains cords are out of a child’s reach to avoid strangulation
  • Heaters, open fires, candles are screened with a secured guard or are inaccessible to children who should be supervised at all times when these are in use
  • Matches and lighters are stored out of reach of children
  • Smoke alarms are installed as per regulations, on each floor and near the kitchen
  • Smoke alarms have been tested within the last month and are operational with batteries changed once per year
  • A emergency evacuation plan (including an agreed meeting spot) is in place and is practised regularly
  • A list of emergency contact numbers are located near each phone

Note: Also save emergency contact numbers into your mobile phone.

Kitchen & Dining Room

  • Access to the kitchen when cooking is restricted by use of a secure safety barrier
  • A fire blanket / fire extinguisher is located near the kitchen
  • Cleaning and hazardous products such as medications, chemicals, plastic bags etc. are stored in a lockable cupboard or are inaccessible to children
  • Rear burners are used on the stove and pot handles are turned away from the front of the stove
  • The oven/stove is bolted to the wall to prevent tipping forward
  • The dishwasher is closed at all times
  • The microwave is positioned out of reach of children
  • Curtains are away from the stove or other appliances
  • Knives or other sharp objects are stored in a lockable cupboard or out of reach of children
  • The kettle and other appliance cords are out of reach
  • Non-slip placemats are used instead of table cloths
  • Hot drinks are kept out of reach of children
  • The highchair is stable and fitted with a five point harness Five point safety harness is fastened when highchair is in use

Lounge Room & Playroom

  • Furniture is arranged to allow access and to avoid trip hazards and collisions
  • Furniture is positioned away from windows
  • Large items of furniture eg. TV’s, bookcases, entertainment units, are secured to prevent them falling on children
  • Protective covers are placed on sharp corners/edges of furniture
  • Heaters are located at least 1 metre away from curtains or other flammable material Safety glass or safety film is installed to low level glass doors and windows
  • Stickers or frosting is applied to glass sliding doors to prevent collisions
  • Separate play space provided for children
  • Toys are checked regularly for damage or loose parts

Bedrooms & Nurseries

  • Furniture is positioned away from windows, blind cords, electrical outlets & ceiling fans The furniture is arranged to avoid trip hazards and collisions
  • The cot complies with the Australian Standard
  • The cot mattress fits snuggly
  • The cot is free of soft toys, pillows, bumpers etc.
  • The child’s bed is of safe design (the top section of a bunk bed is not recommended for children under 9 years of age)
  • The bunk bed complies with the Australian Standards
  • Toys are stored where children can reach them without climbing
  • Toys are in good condition and suitable for the child’s age
  • The change table is stable
  • The change table mat is secure Items needed for changing baby are located at arm’s reach of the change table
  • Body harness is used when changing baby on the change table
  • ‘Low Fire Danger’ nightwear is worn

Bathroom

  • Hot water from tap is no hotter than 50°C
  • Bath taps are inaccessible to children
  • Hazardous products such as shampoos, razors and medications etc. are stored in a lockable cupboard or are inaccessible to children
  • Electrical appliances are removed from the bathroom
  • A non-slip bath mat or floor surface is provided
  • Non-slip stickers are used in the base of the bath and shower
  • Children are supervised at all times in the bathroom
  • The room heater is out of reach of children

Laundry

  • Hazardous substances such as cleaning products are stored in a lockable cupboard or are inaccessible to children
  • Poisonous substances are stored in their original container
  • The nappy bucket has a firm fitting lid and is inaccessible to children
  • The iron is out of reach of children
  • The lint filter in dryer is cleaned regularly

Garage & Shed

  • The garage and shed should be lockable
  • Poisonous and hazardous substances such as paint, pesticides and flammable liquids are stored in a lockable cupboard or are inaccessible to children
  • Power tools and hardware etc. are inaccessible to children
  • Children have restricted access to garage and shed

Outdoors

  • Wading pool and other water containers are emptied immediately after use
  • Play area is fenced securely, checked and maintained regularly
  • Fence and gates in good condition and in working order
  • Sunscreen and hat worn when outside
  • Play equipment checked regularly and in good condition
  • Trampoline, swings and climbing items are positioned on a soft surface eg. grass or mulch
  • Garden is free from poisonous plants
  • Branches and twigs are removed from children’s eye level
  • Children are supervised in the backyard at all times
  • Children are restricted from accessing the driveway
  • Helmets are worn when riding a tricycle, bike, scooter, inline skates or skateboard etc.
  • Wrist, knee and elbow guards are worn when riding a scooter, inline skates or skateboard etc.
  • Children are supervised around pets, especially dogs
  • Pram or stroller complies with Australian Standards
  • The five point safety harness on the pram or stroller is secured when in use

You can find more information on safety at:

www.kidsafe.com.au
www.royallifesaving.com.au
www.fire.nsw.gov.au

Learn more about being a nanny with our resources including first aid, police checks, find out how The Nanny Emporium works or contact us today.