Find resources / Group parenting programme / Keeping children safe Module 4

Making whānau aware of potential risks to their child’s safety in different environments and providing effective ways of reducing risks.

A parent's primary role is keeping their child safe. Whānau need to adjust their plans as their tamaiti grows to keep them safe.

First time parents often feel unprepared for the many roles that they need to play in their child's life. They discover they have to make countless quick decisions in response to new situations or demands.

Learning goals

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

Session plan

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.

Find waiata for your session

Introduce the topic – today we’re going to spend time thinking about the role of parents in providing a safe and secure environment for pēpi.

Mix and match from the pūtea of related workshops below. Consider the following when selecting which ones will work best for your group:

  • the size of your group
  • how much time you have
  • the ages of the participants’ children
  • factors such as literacy levels and the particular needs of the individuals you are working with.

Background information

What's needed to keep our children safe changes over time. It's influenced by a number of different factors. As a child’s mobility and independence develop and they spend time in different places and with different people, whānau need to adjust their thinking to ensure their child remains safe.

Before a child is mobile, their whānau has ultimate control over their environment, experiences and interactions. Once pēpi 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 up 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

Keeping a child safe means providing a safe environment for their increasing motor skills, as well as providing everything else they need 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 part of keeping their child safe.

Thinking and planning

When whānau have an increased awareness of potential risks to their child’s safety, they 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.


Tākai resources

Babies' world [PDF, 8.7 MB]

The world of under-fives [PDF, 9.8 MB]

The tricky bits [PDF, 9.3 MB]

Whakatipu booklets(external link) – Ngā tohu whānau and Whānau say sections

Order free printed resources(external link)

Related articles


Keeping baby safe

Car seat safety

Making our home a safe place for baby

Growing independence

Active toddlers

Other resources

Caring for your child | Whānau Āwhina Plunket(external link)

Well Child Tamariki Ora My Health Book | HealthEd(external link)

  • 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)