For young children to be able to play safely, an adult needs to supervise them closely and actively.
You need to make sure children are in a safe place to play, such as a backyard, fenced park or recreational area. They should always be supervised by an adult. Roads, carparks, footpaths and driveways are never safe places to play.
A young child’s skull is soft and easily injured. So whenever children are riding wheeled toys or bicycles, it is important that they are wearing a correctly fitted and Australian Standards Approved helmet. This is an adult’s responsibility.
When buying a helmet:
- Take the child to the shop with you, to make sure the helmet fits properly.
- It should sit two child finger widths above the child’s eyebrows, and be neither too tight nor too loose.
- It should not be too heavy for the child’s head and neck to carry.
Young children who wear helmets from the moment they start riding their first wheeled toy will be safer from head injury, and are more likely to continue the practice throughout their lives. Use these road safety messages:
- “No helmet, no bike.”
- “When everyone has their helmet and shoes on, we can ride our bikes.”
- “If anyone isn’t wearing their helmet or shoes properly, we’ll put the bikes away.”
When supervising children, use these opportunities to talk to them about:
- How helmets and enclosed shoes keep us safe.
- Why we must ride and play away from traffic - for instance, in the backyard or at the bike track.
- Why footpaths and driveways are never safe places to play.
- Why young children can never ride their bikes, scooters or skates without an adult closely supervising them.
Scooters and motorised toys also need to be supervised closely by an adult. They are harder to control and can put children into danger quickly
Children can dart into traffic very quickly when distracted by games they are playing. Where possible children should play in a fenced yard or park and be supervised by an adult at all times. Driveways are unsafe areas for children to play. Use these road safety messages:
- “Always play in the backyard”
- “Dont play in the driveway”
- “Never follow your ball onto the road”
Make some family rules about safe play, talk about them with the children and then stick to them - every time they are using bikes, trikes or scooters.