Family Day Care Victoria. Home Safety Checklist

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1 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

2 Authors Ms Melanie Water, Ms Aleksandra Natora and Professor Mark Stokes, Kidsafe Disclaimer While care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, Kidsafe Victoria takes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or changes to information that may occur, and disclaims all responsibility and liability to any person for any actions taken or not taken because of the information within these guidelines. These guidelines have been developed on the basis of analysis of child injury and the expertise and experience of relevant professionals and currently available standards. These guidelines are designed to draw attention to potential hazards for children and suggest actions that may be taken to prevent injury. They are not regulations, and they do not override Victorian regulations, national standards, municipal obligations, or existing scheme policies. Published by Service Development Division Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Level 9, 35 Spring Street, Melbourne November 2009 State of Victoria (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) Treasury Place, East Melbourne, Victoria Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

3 Introducing the Home Safety Checklist What is the checklist for? This checklist is to help you to maintain a safe environment for the children you care for in your home. In particular, the checklist is to help you to continue your valuable work under the recent changes that have occurred in Family Day Care services. What are the recent changes to Family Day Care? Family Day Care (FDC) Victoria started in 1972, and was operated by local government, and community and private organisations. In May 2009, FDC came under the regulation of the Victorian State Government. This means that, by law, FDC services must now comply with the Children s Services Act 1996, which has been amended to include FDC as an additional type of children s service. This checklist is part of the new Family Day Care Victoria, Child Safety Guidelines. What are the Family Day Care Victoria, Child Safety Guidelines? The Family Day Care Victoria, Child Safety Guidelines were written specifically for Victorian FDC services. The Guidelines provide: Detailed information about child safety and injury prevention Identification of external emergencies Resources to help FDC Coordination Units to audit hazards and injury risks Training materials for ongoing professional development for FDC staff and carers A checklist for in and around the home for carers and FDC Coordination Units You can find a copy of the Guidelines on the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website at What does the checklist cover? The checklist covers safety inside and outside the house, and in the car. It also includes general safety matters including emergency evacuation and first aid. Who should use the checklist? The checklist is for all FDC Carers and FDC Coordination Unit representatives to use. Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 3

4 How often is the checklist used? This checklist is for you to use together with your FDC Coordination Unit representative as part of your home s annual safety audit. You can also use this checklist by yourself. You might use it several times a year, or even daily to independently check the safety of your home environment. What is the benefit of using the checklist? Children need to be protected from hazards and harm, have adequate supervision, and enjoy an environment that is clean and in good repair. This checklist is comprehensive, so, when you use it, you can feel confident that your home is a safe and secure place for the children you care for. Home Safety Checklist The Checklist is for both Family Day Care Coordination Units and carers to use. The Family Day Care Coordination Unit and the carer should use the checklist as part of the annual safety audit. The checklist may be used more frequently depending on the individual carer s needs and the outcome of visits by the Family Day Care service. Carers are encouraged to use the checklist as a regular self-assessment tool. The Home Safety Checklist is divided into the following three sections: (a) Indoor Safety (b) Vehicle Safety (c) Outdoor Safety The checklist is very comprehensive, but if you identify any additional safety items, you can include them in the space provided at the end of the relevant section. To complete the checklist, you need to: (a) Go through the checklist page by page to check the safety issues in each room or area. (b) Fill out the checklist summary. This page is attached to the back of the checklist, and allows you to compile a handy summary of the safety issues you have identified that need action. 4 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

5 Indoor Safety Safety management Item no. Potential injury 1 Is there a telephone or another way of communicating that can be used at all times? 2 Is there a list of emergency telephone numbers displayed? Delay in assistance Delay in assistance 3 Is an evacuation plan displayed? 4 Is there evidence that emergency procedures are practised? 5 Are smoke detectors in good working order? 6 Can the number of the house be clearly seen from the street? 7 Is the first aid well stocked and easy for the carer to reach? 8 Is the first aid kit out of reach of children? 9 Does the carer have a current first aid certificate? 10 Does the carer have an auto injection device, and is the carer trained to use an auto injection device? 11 Does the carer carry a list of children s emergency contact numbers when out of the house? 12 Are all guns stored separately from ammunition? 13 Are all guns and ammunition stored out of reach of children? 14 Are matches, oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? Delay in assistance Delay in treatment Delay in treatment Delay in treatment Delay in assistance or communication N/A N/A External Emergencies Is there an emergency plan in place Do carers understand what to do in an emergency Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 5

6 Entrance Item no. Potential injury 15 Is the front door locked? 16 Are the front door keys near the door, but out of reach of children? 17 Is the entrance free from obstructions? 18 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 19 Are all glass doors and floor to ceiling windows: made of safety glass laminated, or made with safety film? 20 Are all glass doors and floor to ceiling windows marked with stickers at adult and child s eye level? 21 Are items that could fall onto children, securely locked, fixed, or guarded? Laceration Laceration N/A N/A Other Safety Issues/Comments 6 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

7 Kitchen Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 22 Does the room have a door or gates fitted with child-resistant catches for times when it is not being used? 23 Are the cook top and appliances (toaster, electric kettle etc.) out of reach of children? 24 Are the stove, oven and microwave securely fixed in position? 25 Are all sharp objects (knives, glass containers etc.) out of reach of children? 26 Are all cleaning products stored in their original containers? 27 Are all cleaning products stored in a locked cupboard out of reach of children? 28 Are the hot water tap and the sink out of reach, or unable to be opened by children? 29 Does the floor have a non-slip surface? 30 Are plastic bags etc. out of reach of young children? 31 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 32 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? 33 Are matches, oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? 34 Is the dishwasher door closed and unable to be opened by a young child? 35 Are tablecloths kept out of use when children are in care, or are they fitted securely to the table? 36 Is there a fire blanket or fire extinguisher in easy reach of the carer, but out of reach of children? Crushing Cuts Scalds N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 7

8 Kitchen (cont) Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 37 Are all alcoholic drinks safely stored in original containers and kept out of reach of children? 38 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 39 Are all glass doors and floor to ceiling windows made of safety glass, laminated, or made with safety film? 40 Are all glass doors and floor to ceiling windows marked with stickers at adult and child s eye level? Laceration Laceration N/A N/A 8 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

9 Bathroom Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 41 Are electrical appliances unplugged, and cords kept out of reach of young children? 42 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 43 Are hot water taps for the basin and bath out of reach, or unable to be opened by young children? 44 Are bath and sink plugs stored out of reach of young children? 45 Are medicines, poisons and toilet deodorising blocks stored in a locked cupboard out of reach of children? 46 Are medicines and poisons stored in their original containers and clearly labelled? 47 Are razors, scissors and other sharp objects stored out of reach of children? 48 Does the room have a door or gates fitted with child-resistant catches for times when it is not being used? 49 Are doors with locking devices able to be opened from the outside at all times? 50 Are all mats on slippery surfaces secure? 51 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 52 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? Scalding Cuts Scalding Delay in medical attention Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 9

10 Laundry Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 53 Are all cleaning products stored in a locked cupboard out of reach of children? 54 Are cleaning products stored in their original containers? 55 Are all buckets (including nappy buckets) stored out of reach of children? 56 Are all sink plugs stored out of reach of children? 57 Does the room have a door or gates fitted with child-resistant catches for times when it is not being used? 58 Is the room easy for adults to enter? 59 Are all objects smaller than a 50-cent Choking piece out of reach of children? 60 Are all plastic bags etc. out of reach of children? 61 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 62 Is the dryer or front-loading washing machine out of reach of children? 63 Are the ironing board and iron securely stored in a stable position? 64 Are doors with locking devices able to be opened from the outside at all times? 65 Are hot water taps out of reach, or unable to be opened by young children? 66 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 67 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? Delay in medical attention 10 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

11 Living areas Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 68 Are all sharp edges on tables and benches padded? 69 Are furniture and furnishings in good condition that creates no safety problems? 70 Are glass doors marked with stickers at adult and child s eye level? 71 Do lower level windows have safety glass, shatter-resistant film or a guard? 72 Are tablecloths kept out of use when children are in care, or are they fitted securely to the table? 73 Is all furniture that a child could climb and fall 1.5 metres from removed, securely fixed or guarded? 74 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 75 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? 76 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 77 Do all open fires and stoves have guards that keep them out of reach of children? 78 Are portable kerosene heaters out of reach, or unable to be operated by children? 79 Is the outside surface of the space heater cool when it is operating? 80 Do all pieces of furniture containing glass have safety glass or shatterresistant film, or are they guarded? 81 Is the room free of heavy pieces of furniture that could fall onto a child? Laceration Laceration Laceration Laceration Crushing N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 11

12 Living areas (cont) Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 82 Are all objects smaller than a 50-cent piece out of reach of children? 83 Are internal rises of more than 3 steps out of reach of children? 84 Are matches, fragrant oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? 85 Are fans and free-standing air conditioners secure and stable? 86 Are beanbags stored in an area out of reach of children? 87 Are any objects that could trap a child s head, legs or arms removed or out of reach of children? Choking Entrapment N/A N/A N/A 12 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

13 Bedroom 1 (Master) Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 88 Is all furniture that a child could climb and fall 1.5 metres from removed, securely fixed or guarded? 89 Are all windows or other openings more than 1.5 metres above the ground fixed so they cannot be opened more than 100 mm? 90 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 91 Do the cots comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003? 92 Are change tables located away from overhanging blind and curtain cords? 93 Do the cots conform to the safe sleeping environment as outlined by SIDS and Kids? 94 Are all bumpers, pillows and mobiles removed from cots? 95 Are toiletries, medication, sleeping pills, perfume, jewellery, sharps and plastic bags all out of reach of children? 96 Are matches, fragrant oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? 97 Are all objects smaller than a 50-cent piece out of reach of children? 98 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 99 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? Choking Cuts Choking N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 13

14 Ensuite Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 100 Are electrical appliances unplugged, and cords kept out of reach of young children? 101 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 102 Are hot water taps to the basin and bath out of reach or unable to be opened by young children? 103 Are bath and sink plugs stored out of reach of young children? 104 Are medicines, poisons and toilet deodorising blocks stored in a locked cupboard out of reach of children? 105 Are medicines and poisons stored in their original containers and clearly labelled? 106 Are razors, scissors and other sharp objects stored out of reach of children? 107 Does the room have a door or gates fitted with child-resistant catches? 108 Are doors with locking devices able to be opened from the outside at all times? 109 Are all mats on slippery surfaces secure? 110 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 111 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? Scalding Cuts Scalding Delay in medical treatment 14 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

15 Bedroom 2 Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 112 Is all furniture that a child could climb and fall 1.5 metres from removed, securely fixed or guarded? 113 Are all windows or other openings more than 1.5 metres above the ground fixed so they cannot be opened more than 100 mm? 114 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 115 Do the cots comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003? 116 Are change tables located away from overhanging blind and curtain cords? 117 Do the cots conform to the safe sleeping environment as outlined by SIDS and Kids? 118 Are all bumpers, pillows and mobiles removed from cots? 119 Are toiletries, medication, sleeping pills, perfume, jewellery, sharps and plastic bags all out of reach of young children? 120 Are matches, fragrant oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? 121 Are all objects smaller than a 50-cent piece out of reach of children? 122 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 123 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? 124 Is the top bunk out of reach of children e.g. has the ladder been removed, or is the bunk guarded? Choking Cuts Choking N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 15

16 Bedroom 3 Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 125 Is all furniture that a child could climb and fall 1.5 metres from removed, securely fixed or guarded? 126 Are all windows or other openings more than 1.5 metres above the ground fixed so they cannot be opened more than 100 mm? 127 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 128 Do the cots comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003? 129 Are change tables located away from overhanging blind and curtain cords? 130 Do the cots conform to the safe sleeping environment as outlined by SIDS and Kids? 131 Are all bumpers, pillows and mobiles removed from cots? 132 Are toiletries, medication, sleeping pills, perfume, jewellery, sharps and plastic bags all out of reach of young children? 133 Are matches, fragrant oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? 134 Are all objects smaller than a 50-cent piece out of reach of children? 135 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 136 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? 137 Is the top bunk out of reach of children e.g. has the ladder been removed, or is the bunk guarded? Choking Cuts Choking N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 16 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

17 Bedroom 4/Study Room is out of reach of children via barrier: locked door/fence/gate/other (specify) Item no. Potential injury 138 Is all furniture that a child could climb and fall 1.5 metres from removed, securely fixed or guarded? 139 Are all windows or other openings more than 1.5 metres above the ground fixed so they cannot be opened more than 100 mm? 140 Do all unused power points that children can reach have safety plugs? 141 Do the cots comply with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2172:2003? 142 Are change tables located away from overhanging blind and curtain cords? 143 Does the cot conform to the safe sleeping environment as outlined by SIDS and Kids? 144 Are all bumpers, pillows and mobiles removed from cots? 145 Are toiletries, medication, sleeping pills, perfume, jewellery, sharps and plastic bags all out of reach of young children? 146 Are matches, fragrant oil burners, incense and lighters kept out of reach of young children? 147 Are all objects smaller than a 50-cent piece out of reach of children? 148 Are all curtain and blind cords out of reach of children? 149 Are all electrical cords and leads kept out of reach of children? 150 Is the top bunk out of reach of children e.g. has the ladder been removed, or is the bunk guarded? 151 Are computers out of reach of children unless an adult is directly supervising children? Choking Cuts Choking N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 17

18 Toys, equipment and resources Item no. Potential injury 152 Are all toys and objects smaller than a 50-cent piece removed? 153 Are all toys with sharp edges removed? 154 Are all toys that can shoot out harmful parts or pieces removed? 155 Are all toys with parts that could trap a child s head, neck, hair, fingers, toes, arms or legs removed? 156 Are all toys that contain toxic materials removed? 157 Are toys kept in a box that a child cannot get trapped in? Choking Laceration Laceration Entrapment Entrapment N/A 158 Are toy box lids secure? Entrapment N/A 159 Are Family Day Care toys kept where young children can reach them without climbing? 160 Are items filled with polystyrene balls (beanbag filling) out of reach of children? 161 Do all prams conform to the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2008:2000? 162 Are all highchairs fitted with fullyfunctioning, 5-point harnesses? N/A N/A N/A 18 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

19 Building features Item no. Potential injury 163 Are all steps more than 300 mm high guarded by a wall, balustrade or gate? 164 Are all balconies and above ground verandas fitted with adequate balustrades? 165 Do balustrades have no more than 100 mm between vertical rails? 166 Do balustrades have a top and bottom horizontal rail, but no other horizontal rails that a child could climb? 167 Do all stairs, ramps, hallways and corridors that are more than 1 metre above floor level have balustrades? 168 Are balustrades at least 865 mm above the front edge of stair treads? 169 Are all windows or other openings more than 1.5 metres above the ground fixed so they cannot be opened more than 100 mm? 170 Are all windows above play areas unable to be opened out? 171 Are all roof areas out of reach of children? 172 Are all flights of stairs out of reach of children? 173 Is the outdoor play area securely fenced? 174 Are all gates secured with a latch that is out of reach of children? Laceration N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 19

20 Vehicle Safety (Carer to fill out; Coordination Unit to check) Make: Registration Number: Model: Driver s Licence Number: Year of manufacture: Expiry Date: Licensed to carry passengers Item no. Potential injury 175 Is the motor vehicle locked and unable to be entered by children? 176 Is the motor vehicle registered? 177 Is the inside of the car free of dangerous objects? 178 Do all child restraints have an Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754:2004 sticker? 179 Are there enough child restraints for all children? 180 Are all the child restraints suitable for the age and size of the children? 181 Are restraints fitted in accordance with Australian Standards instructions? 182 Are all child restraints in good condition? 183 Is the cigarette lighter out of reach, or unable to be operated by children? 184 Is a first aid kit kept in the car at all times? Delay in treatment 185 Is the first aid well stocked? Delay in treatment 186 Is the first aid kit out of reach of children? 187 Does the vehicle have more than 2 doors? Delay in exiting the vehicle 20 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

21 Outdoor Safety Pools, spas, ponds and other water features Item no. Potential injury 188 Do the pool and spa have appropriate fences or barriers? N/A 189 Is the fence higher than 1.2 metres, with no horizontal bars that a child can stand on? 190 Does the fence or door have a fully functional child-resistant, self-latching gate or lock? 191 Are the pool and spa unable to be reached directly from the house? N/A N/A N/A 192 Is the spa securely covered? N/A 193 Are all objects that could help a child to climb into the pool or spa removed? N/A 194 Is there a permanent, fixed notice displayed that shows how to resuscitate a child? 195 Are the pool and spa filters out of reach of children? 196 Are there barriers or adequate fencing around ponds, creeks, rivers and dams? 197 Are all holes, wells, trenches and excavations adequately fenced or covered? 198 Are gully traps completely covered or fenced off? 199 Are drains appropriately covered? Entrapment 200 Is the fishpond appropriately covered? 201 Are all buckets, bowls, drums and any other water containers adequately covered or locked away? 202 Are wading pools and buckets empty of water when they are not being used? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 21

22 Garden shed Item no. Potential injury 203 Are the garden shed and garage unable to be entered by children? 204 Are all poisonous materials out of reach of children? 205 Are all power tools out of reach or unable to be operated by children? 206 Are all motorised toys (e.g. scooters) out of reach of children? 207 Are all bikes out of reach of children unless an adult is directly supervising? 208 Do the garden shed windows have safety glass or barriers? N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 22 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

23 Plants and trees Item no. Potential injury 209 Are trees and shrubs from which a child could fall more than 1.5 metres out of reach of children? 210 Are all sharp branches that stick out removed or out of reach of children? Laceration N/A N/A 211 Are all poisonous plants removed? N/A 212 Are ladders out of reach of children? 213 Are the outdoor areas securely fenced? 214 Are the fences built or guarded so that a child cannot climb over or crawl under them? 215 Are fences and walls that a child could climb and fall more than 1.5 metres out of reach or guarded from children? 216 Are all fences and walls secure and stable? 217 Are all areas from which a child could fall over 1.5 metres out of reach of children? Entrapment Crushing N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 23

24 Outdoor/backyard play equipment Item no. Potential injury 218 Are all surfaces from which a child could fall over 1.5 metres out of reach of children? 219 Is the equipment free of sharp or hard parts, or parts that stick out? 220 Is the surface of the equipment smooth, with no splinters? 221 Is the equipment free of moving parts that could strike a child with force? 222 Is play equipment that could trap a child s head, legs, arms, fingers or toes removed? 223 Is the cubby house clean and safe for children to enter and exit? 224 Is the trampoline out of reach of children unless an adult is directly supervising? 225 Does the trampoline have protective padding covering the frame and the springs? 226 Is the swing set or other equipment secure and in good condition? 227 Is there enough under surfacing under equipment to cushion children if they fall? Cuts Cuts Crushing Entrapment N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 24 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

25 Barbecues and incinerators Item no. Potential injury 228 Are all barbecues out of reach of children? 229 Are incinerators out of reach or unable to be operated by children? N/A N/A Clotheslines Item no. Potential injury 230 Is the clothesline out of reach of young children? 231 Is the clothesline in good condition with no loose ropes or wires? Entrapment Choking N/A N/A Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 25

26 Pets and other animals Item no. Potential injury 232 Are pets such as cats and dogs, and farm animals out of reach of children unless an adult is directly supervising? 233 Are dangerous pets such as snakes and spiders completely out of reach of children? 234 Are fish bowls and tanks out of reach of children? 235 Are there suitable barriers in place to make sure that no wild animals can enter the property? 236 Is all cat litter and animal food out of reach of children? Laceration N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 26 Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist

27 Home Safety Checklist Summary Safety checked by: (name) (Carer or FDC Coordination Unit member?) (date) Summary of Safety Issues Item no. Date action completed Carer s name Address Postcode Telephone (Home) (Mobile) Family Day Care Victoria Home Safety Checklist 27

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