Safety Tips

Water safety tips

School children are taking part in regular swimming sessions often with their school classes, as part of water safety campaigns.  There are water safety classes for toddlers and babies in many towns too.  It is never too early for a child to begin.  Sadly summer always sees drowning tragedies in pools, boats and at beaches and in rural dams and rivers.  Children move so quickly and it takes only a moment for a child to fall into the water.  Here are some essentials to follow with children and water.

  •  Young children should not be left in the care of older children near water.  They have not developed a sufficient sense of responsibility and can easily be distracted.

  • Sunburn is a cause for concern.  Australia has a high incidence of skin cancer. Always  apply sunscreen regularly. 

  • Hats must be worn

  • Sun-safe swimmer wear is highly recommended. The material will prevent the rays of the sun from harming the skin

  • Cramps can occur if people swim straight after eating.

  • Rivers have snags under water.  Children should never dive into murky water.  Diving in any shallow water is dangerous

  • Obey rules at all public pools

  • Make rules for home pools and keep them

  • Dams are really dangerous because walls are steep, water is deep, brown and often cold

  • Never let a child drive a quod-bike or trail bike near a dam.  Bikes have slipped into the dam and children have drowned while parents were watching the riders.


Safe Toys

There are many pressures on parents and family members as the end of the year approaches. Shops are filling up with a vast array of toys that children want to own. They see items on TV too, that fire their imaginations. Adults want to make dreams come true for their children but there is limited money. How can we get the best value for our money? How can we choose wisely for the children in our lives?

There are two major concerns Ė safety and entertainment. Even toys from respected manufacturers are sometimes unsafe. Fortunately, The Australian standards group is constantly testing the safety of items and alerts the public when toys breach the guidelines. However, everyone needs to know some of the safety features that every toy should meet.

Safe toys for young children

  • can be safely mouthed

  • have no small, loose parts that may choke child

  • are strong

  • have non toxic paint or materials

  • have no sharp parts

  • are made from all new materials

Toys of high value can


  • be used in a variety of ways

  • help a child to use their imagination and develop skills

  • require the child to actively do something instead of passively watching or listening

Children see, want, ask, pester, demand, whinge, grab, sulk, expect rewards and find waiting difficult. What are you to do to avoid stress of this kind while shopping?

 Parents can

  • buy toys for Christmas when the children are not with you

  • layby in order to spread out payments

  • discuss with children that choices must be made as only some toys can be purchased  

  • combine with several family members to buy one good quality item

  • buy construction toys or kits that can be added to later

  • look for second hand items in good repair and do them up


Sleep deprivation

Almost all parents of newborn babies suffer from sleep deprivation and without enough sleep it is difficult to cope both physically and emotionally. Lack of sleep makes us feel tired all the time, we donít want to get up in the morning and we are easily irritated and may get depressed.

Why donít babies sleep at night? It is rarely because they are hungry. It is usually because they  have not yet learnt that they are supposed to sleep at night. They sleep lightly much of the time.

What can you do to get the sleep you need?  

  • Sleep when baby is asleep. Even a short sleep will help you.

  • Fathers who need sleep to cope with going to work will need to sleep in the spare room some nights to catch up.

  • Sleep well in the weekend when you are both at home and can take it in turns.

  • Ask someone you know to come in and mind baby and do some chore while you sleep for an hour or two.

  • Begin a routine for baby right from the beginning.

Babies need at least 16 hours of sleep but this is taken in short snatches. They donít know that they should sleep at night instead of day. You can help to establish night time sleeping by taking baby outside for a walk each morning. This helps to build up the melatonin in the brain which helps to establish a day waking pattern. Have a night time bed routine such as bath, feed, cuddle, bed with patting or rocking, and soft music on.  Gradually baby will sleep longer at night during the first year but it isnít until  children are three years old that they sleep most night without disturbing you.


Organizing our time with kids

Excitement and changes in routine are part of the end of the school term and the beginning of holidays. Somehow everything seems to come at once. There are concerts, school presentations, parties, shopping, visitors and Christmas coming and it is easy to get overtired. Adults find it hard to be patient at the end of a long, hot day or a busy week. It is even harder for tired kids to behave properly. Is there a way to organize our time so that we can enjoy the different activities and minimise the stress? Here are some ideas:

  • plan ahead

  • keep to a routine as much as possible

  • watch out for signs that the kids need nourishment.  Have no mess snacks available

  • do shopping while kids are at school or day care

  • compromise so Dad goes to some functions while Mum goes to others

  • limit the number of parties the kids can attend. Watch that kids donít have too many sweets as they cause hyperactivity

  • have plenty of low key activities and free play time for kids

  • make rest and recreation time for adults too

  • find simple games and make sure those special comfort toys are taken with you on holidays

  • choose clothing that is comfortable

  • choose age appropriate activities for the kids

  • explain what the family will be doing so the kids know what you expect of them

  • set rules and involve the kids in making them.



Copyright 2008

Making life Easier
First aid
Keeping food safe
Safe Toys
Sleep Deprivation
Organizing time with kids