2Going out

Safety and supervision when you’re out and about

When you go out into the world with children, you can have amazing adventures, but a little bit of caution is also needed to ensure that everyone is safe at all times.

Whether going to the zoo, park, pool, or shopping centre, it is important to always know where the kids are and if there are any potential dangers nearby.

Purple_shopping with babyShopping

You may find yourself shopping with children in crowded malls or supermarkets.

  • Make use of shopping carts trolleys to keep young children from running away
  • Always use the safety belts and don’t allow children to stand in the back, as they could fall out or tip the entire trolley!

Stick together

  • Keep everyone within sight, and babies and toddlers within reach.
  • Bring a mobile phone or let someone know exactly where you are going and what time to expect your return.
  • Review with each child a plan in case you do get separated.  Make sure each child knows to ask an employee, policeman, or someone in a uniform if they get lost in a busy, public venue.
  • Designate a meeting point in case you become separated.

stranger danger_girlStranger danger

Unfortunately, child abductions are a real threat and happen on a regular basis.  More often than not, children are abducted by people they know – an estranged parent, a teacher, a neighbour – rather than a stranger.

If there are any family situations that involve a child restraining order, your host family should notify you.  If a parent or other person is not allowed near a particular child, try to be aware of those situations.

Stranger abductions do also occur, so if you are in a public place and feel uncomfortable about someone nearby, move away and seek help.


Be sure to review these points with the kids you are caring for:

  • Don’t talk to strangers
  • Don’t take anything offered to you by strangers including sweets, food, or money
  • Don’t go anywhere with a stranger
  • If a stranger tries to take you, fight back!!! Punch, hit, kick and scream as loud as you can.  Run away and get help from anyone nearby.

Taking babies and toddlers outWalking_with_Baby_cartoon

Babies should be in a pram, stroller or in a safe and secure baby carrier.

Even when toddlers are able and want to walk, they can get tired and at times difficult to manage. When you have other children to watch at the same time, bring a stroller so you have a secure place for a child to sit!

Prams or strollers are also helpful for carrying all the bags, snack and supplies you need for an outing.

However, pushing a pram can take some getting used to! For example, simple tasks like entering a building or going up a flight of stairs are no longer simple!

  • Look for ramps or elevators to be safe.
  • NEVER try to push a pram up or down stairs.
  • If you are on a hill, don’t ever let go of a pram for even a second, or it could go rolling down.  This can actually be very dangerous if a baby falls out or topples from a pram when it is moving.
  • Keep two hands on the pram at all times! Many prams also have brakes or wheel locks to prevent rolling – be sure to use them as needed.

Exercise for babies

Purple_exercise baby

It is just as important for babies to get out and have some fresh air and exercise as it is for older children. Here are some suggestions for taking a baby out and about:

Walk around the block with baby in the pram.

Take a blanket with you to the park and let baby play and move around in a safe and supervised environment.

Try an infant swing if the baby is steady enough when sitting upright.

If the weather is nice, eat lunch outside!

What should you do if you lose a child?

Even if you’ve made an action plan and a meeting point, it is possible that you could lose track of a child in your care.

If so, immediately start to call the child’s name and report that she or he is missing. Often zoos, shopping centres and other busy places will be able to call the child over a speaker to come to a central meeting place.

Don’t be afraid to call the police if you are concerned and can’t find a child in your care.


Be prepared


  • Bring supplies and weather-appropriate gear.
  • On sunny days be sure each child is wearing sunscreen, a sun-safe hat and has a full bottle of water.
  • Take extra clothes in case of a change of weather,
  • Antiseptic wet wipes and band aids, tissues
  • On cold or rainy days, dress appropriately to stay warm and dry.
  • Pack lunches and snacks so you don’t have hungry, fussy children!

For babies and children in nappies.

If you have a child in nappies or toilet training be sure to bring a “Nappy Bag” with all the necessary supplies including nappies, wipes, changing mat, nappy rash cream, plastic baggies for disposal, and a clean change of clothes in case of an accident. Most parents will already have this sort of bag packed and ready to go.

Have fun!