Child safety

It is important for parents and guardians to discuss personal safety strategies with children and teenagers to keep them safe in our community. For children under the age of 12 Constable Kenny Koala’s website offers great resources on road safety, protective behaviours and online safety.

Kidsafe also provides information on preventing unintentional childhood injuries and reducing death and disabilities associated with injuries in children under the age of 15.

Hot cars

On a typical Australian summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise quickly and to extreme temperatures.

You may think that leaving children locked in the vehicle for only a few minutes is fine, but it is extremely dangerous.

A young child will quickly dehydrate, lapse into unconsciousness and may never fully recover.

Please be mindful and ensure wherever you go, regardless of how quickly the stop is, to always take the children with you. As stressful and time consuming as this can be, don’t put children at risk.

If you see a child or infant trapped or unattended in a car, call Triple Zero (000) for immediate assistance from both ACT Policing and ACT Ambulance Service.

It is an offence to knowingly or recklessly leave a child unattended in circumstances or for a length that could result in injury, sickness or other danger to the child. The penalty for this offence under the Crimes Act 1900 (section 39 Neglect of Children) is a maximum of two years of imprisonment and/or a fine of $32000.

More serious offences apply in the unfortunate event that a child dies.

Stranger danger

Parents and guardians are encouraged to educate their children in good personal safety practices including 'stranger danger' awareness. Some points to reinforce with your children are:

  • walk to school in groups and not alone
  • don't walk around the streets alone, ring your parents to pick you up
  • let your parents know where you are going and if your plans change
  • don't approach cars if someone stops and asks questions.

Teach your children to remember information such as your address and mobile phone number, and how to identify a trusted adult if they need help.  

If your child comes home and informs you of an incident, contact police immediately on 131 444. If you notice any one acting suspiciously around children, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via the online reporting form.

Cyber safety

These days children are able to access the internet via smart phones and tablets at a much younger age, therefore it is important that you teach your children early on about online safety. To ensure children remain safe:

  • know when and where they are accessing the internet
  • use password protection and parent authorisations so you know what they are accessing
  • teach them about being respectful online
  • ensure they know to keep personal information private such as name, age and address
  • remind them not to engage with people they don’t know.

ThinkUKnow is a cyber safety program which aims to empower every Australian to be safe, respectful and resilient online. It is a free evidence-based cyber safety program that provides educational presentations to parents, carers, teachers and youth about safe internet use. For information and resources visit the ThinkUKnow website.

If you suspect that your child is being groomed online, call police on 131 444 and provide as much detail about the incident as possible. If necessary, it will be referred to police for investigation. You can also submit an Online Child Protection Form.

Child abuse

Child and Youth Protection Services is the statutory child protection agency which services the ACT region and is responsible for the care and protection of children and young people at risk of abuse or neglect. Their publication Keeping Children and Young People Safe has detailed information on indicators of abuse and neglect and reporting obligations.

How to report

If you have reasonable belief or suspicion that a child is at risk of abuse or neglect and you wish to inform Child and Youth Protection Services of your concern, you can complete an online Child Concern Report or call their after-hours crisis service on 1300 556 729. Find out more about reporting child abuse and neglect on the Community Services ACT website.

You can also call and report child abuse to police on 131 444 or by visiting your local police station. If it is a life threatening situation call Triple Zero (000).

Kids Help Line

Kids Help Line is a national 24-hour telephone counselling service for children and young people in Australia phone 1800 551 800.

ACT Policing Online News

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