Gardens, plants, rubbish and yard

Check with your local nursery if you cannot identify plants in your garden. Prohibit access by garden beds, hedges or fencing off, or have sharp or poisonous plants professionally removed. Discourage children from climbing trees or remove lower accessible branches.


Indoor plants are a great prop for games such as those involving toy cars and green army men. Dirt holds endless fascination for toddlers. Protect your kids (and perhaps even your carpets) by keeping plants and plant food out of reach, avoiding indoor plants with sharp or spiky leaves and being aware of potentially poisonous plants. Pebbles, stones and shells may be decorative but are also a choking hazard.

Rubbish and other hazards

Keep bins secured and out of the reach of children and pets. Keep handles free from spider webs. Occasionally wipe bins inside and out with disinfectant cleansers to kill germs. Many Councils have allocate bins for specific types of rubbish such as general waste, green waste and recycling and may also provide bulk rubbish removal throughout the year. Find out your regular pick up days from your Council and use bin types and sizes appropriate for your family.

Garden tools, fertilisers and poisons

Keep them locked in a shed or garage or a locked cupboard indoors.

Sun safety

This is a big issue in Australia all year around, even on cloudy days. We’re probably all familiar with “slip, slop, slap (& we’ll add wrap)”.

Plan your day so that you stay out of the sun from 11-3 during daylight saving and 10-2 the rest of the year. When outdoors, try to keep in the shade of trees, sails, umbrellas or buildings. However, don’t forget that the sun can reflect of water, snow, concrete and sand which can cause burns even when in the shade so position yourself carefully. Slip on loose fitting garments with closely woven fabrics which cover as much of your body as possible including the back of your neck. Slop on sunscreen with an SPF30+ on face, hands and other parts of the body which are exposed to the sun. Use sunscreen for sensitive skin on younger children. Reapply every two hours. Slap on one of a number of hats and wrap on some sun glasses.

Types of hats for children to protect face, neck and ears are broad brimmed, bucket and legionnaire hats. Not beanies, hoods or caps. Provide shade for prams, cars, play, picnic and other outdoor areas.

Drink sufficient water. Do not deliberately expose your baby to sunlight. In Australia we get sufficient sunlight simply from day to day activities and natural light filtering into our homes. Any skin irritations will need fresh air and proper medical treatment, not sunlight.

Featured home safety resources

 Wherever you are in Australia, these featured resources are available nationally.

Please navigate through the subsections above to find more local or specific contacts.

National contacts

This is a brief list of organisations listed throughout the Safe section, which provide a national emergency or safety service. For specific services or to see what’s available in a local area please browse the subsections in the menu above.

000 Triple Zero emergency

Ambulance, Fire, Police

Poisons Information

24 hour

State Emergency Services

24 hour

Translating and Interpreting Service

24 hour

State and local areas

Alcoholics Anonymous

24 hour

Crime Stoppers

24 hour

Kids Help Line

24 hour


24 hour

Emergency contact list

View details and download

Also see >

Emergency and advice

– Contacts and resources


– Counselling


– Relationships

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Children's Guide acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.