Group Programme / Module 4 Keeping children safe

Whānau need to adjust their plans to ensure their growing tamaiti remains safe.  A parent's primary role is keeping their child safe.  First-time parents often feel unprepared for the many roles that they need to play in their child's life.  They discover that there are countless decisions that they often have to make almost immediately as different situations arise, or demands are made.


  • Providing a physically safe environment at home and in the community.
  • Promoting safe, secure attachments.
  • Preventing child abuse and neglect.


Begin the session with an appropriate settling in time — for example, karakia, gathering thoughts, waiata, simple hellos. This is an opportunity for people to share what’s going on for them if they wish. 

Mix and match from the pütea of workshops. Tailor the session and choose workshops that you think would work best for the group at this time.

Background information

What’s involved in keeping our children safe changes over time and is influenced by different things. 

A child’s increasing mobility, their developing independence, being in different places and cared for by different people all mean that their whānau may need to re-think and adjust their plans to ensure their child remains safe. 

Before a child is mobile, their whānau has ultimate control over their environment, experiences and interactions. However, once pëpi begins to move independently they’ll be wanting to make the decisions about where they go and what they touch. 

Keeping safe while being active 

Motor development can progress quite quickly. Usually it begins with rolling, then some form of crawling, then pulling themself to stand and ‘cruising’ along furniture. 

Before long they’re walking independently, climbing, and trying to access interesting things and places. Their increased strength, agility and curiosity will see them venturing further and getting into things previously out of their reach. 

Parents’ role in their children’s safety 

A parent’s primary role is keeping their child safe. This not only includes providing a safe environment for their increasing motor skills, but also providing everything else that a child needs for optimum growth and development. 

Ensuring their emotional wellbeing is vital. As much as parents probably won’t want to think about it, protecting their child from forms of sexual abuse is also a factor in their child’s safety. 

Thinking and planning 

With an increased awareness of potential risks to their child’s safety, whānau will be thinking more about where and who is caring for their child in their absence. Planning ahead can help ensure that someone trustworthy is available.


Physical development chart (pp. 11–13) 

Social–emotional development (pp. 9–10)  

6 weeks (p. 113)

    • Keeping your baby safe
    • Bathing your baby
    • Smoke-free home and car
    • Safe sleep 

6 weeks to 6 months (p. 129)

    • Keeping your baby safe
    • SUDI and safe sleep
    • Babysitting
    • Stress, tiredness and frustration 

6 to 12 months (p. 139)

    • Keeping your child safe
    • Sleep
    • Bed
    • Choking 

1 to 2 years

    • Keeping your child safe (p. 149) 

2 to 3 years

    • Keeping your child safe (p. 157) 

3 to 5 years

    • Keeping your child safe (p. 164)
    • Family violence and child abuse (p. 170) 

Keeping your child healthy and safe (p. 180)

    • Sleep
    • Sleep
    • Bed
    • Smokefree
    • Choking, strangling, suffocating
    • Poisons
    • Burns, fires, scalds
    • Cuts, falls
    • Road and car safety
    • Child restraint
    • Other safety tips
    • Medicine, water safety
    • Sun exposure
    • Vitamin D
    • Allergies
    • Family violence and abuse
    • Shaken baby
    • Illness 

Plunket: Thriving under five (booklet) 

    • Features easy-to-find sections on safety for each age group. 
    • In case of poisoning:  Poison information service — 0800 POISON  (0800 764 766)

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