A paediatrician has shared her 12 point essential safety checklist for the school holidays.

A doctor has shared her child safety checklist, encouraging parents to be vigilant in ways they might not have known they needed to be.

Posting on Facebook under the name “Mel Tee”, as it is common for doctors to maintain their privacy online, the Australian hospital paediatrician said her list is “a reminder for those with children who are mobile and inquisitive: it’s so easy for an accident to happen fast, particular at this time of year where many of us are out of our usual environments.

Working in a hospital emergency room, she continued: “These are the things I talk through with parents after admitting kids with injuries, and yes, I’ve seen all of these happen.

“Some are for older children, so might not yet apply, but will creep up sooner than you think.”

The checklist, which has been widely shared on social media, provides advice on 12 essential safety areas, and whilst we strongly suggest reading the post in full as the doctor intended, here are the main areas covered:

Poisons: “Medicines in handbags, including grandparents and visitors.”

Button batteries: “Deserve their own category as these can kill silently. These are often in things like novelty toys or electric candles.”

Small calls: “High bouncers can easily obstruct an airway.”

Plants: “May be poisonous (e.g. oleander, angel’s trumpet.)”

Heat: “Water, tea cups or pots, the kettle… Campfires need to have clear edges, ideally within a barrier, and be fully put out with heat dissipated. I regularly see kids who have walked into coals.”

Cars: “Always triple check there is not a small child behind you when reversing, and enlist help in this. Get in the habit of leaving your bag in the back and looking in the car seat to make sure your child is not left in a hot car… Make sure your kids are in proper car seats for their size – I’m all for extended rear facing.”


Quad bikes: “Too heavy for small children to control, and roll easily.”

Furniture: “Secure all heavy furniture… Any heavy wooden boxes such as toy boxes or blanket chests should have a safety arm to prevent the lid falling, or the lid removed.”

Also, “Bunk beds and ceiling fans do not mix.”

Pool safety: “Much harder on holiday…consider this when renting holiday accommodation.”

Gun safety: “Especially on rural properties or when visiting overseas. Ask whether any guns are fully secured.”

Road safety: “Helmets. And training for road sense.”

At the end of the list, the doctor advised all parents should ensure they have First Aid training, “so if the unthinkable happens, you know what to do.”

Speaking from her experience, the doctor added, “Accidents happen in the blink of an eye and happen to the the best of us; preparation and good habits reduce the chances. Feel free to share.”

Do you have any other child safety tips? Tell is in the comments below.

If you’d like to hear more from Nama Winston, see her stories here, and subscribe to her weekly Mamamia Parents newsletter here.