In this section
Holidays are a time when children and families can look forward to relaxing and spending time together without the usual distractions of work, school and day-to-day routines. However, the absence of a familiar home environment, along with new activities and toys, can sometimes result in
Trips to the beach or the bush can be lots of fun and very rewarding, but extra care needs to be taken to ensure your child remains safe.
Never take your eyes off children in, on or around water. Supervision means constant visual contact, not the occasional glance. You should actively supervise children even if they can swim.
Rips are strong currents that flow away from the shore out past the waves. They can be tricky to spot as they are complex and can change quickly. However, there are some specific signs that can indicate the presence of a rip. If you look for an area where the waves are breaking consistently, a
rip may be in an area nearby where there are fewer breaking waves. Other key signs to look for include:
Teach school-aged children what to do if they are caught in a rip. They should:
Wear sensible clothes when walking in the bush – sturdy shoes and adequate clothing should be worn to protect against snake or insect bites, and to protect against sudden changes in weather.
Fitted clothing is safer around campfires and barbecues than baggy clothing, and remember that campfires left to burn out overnight often contain enough heat the following morning to cause severe burns to bare feet.
Be well prepared and take safety precautions when taking children on bush walks.
If travelling by car, make sure that child car restraints are appropriate for your child's size and are correctly fitted. See our fact sheet
Safety: Child car seats.
Check any travel warnings for the country you are visiting on the Australian Government’s
Smart Traveller website, and ensure all vaccinations for the family are up to date for the country you are planning to visit. Even if you are travelling without your children, it is important you are vaccinated, as you could put young children at risk when you return if you have been exposed to a virus or
illness overseas. You should also check if you need malaria prophylaxis in the country you are visiting.
Holidays are a peak time for injuries from bikes and skateboards, or injuries from new toys.
For more information read our fact sheets Safety: Backgrounds and playgrounds and Safety: Toys.
We are travelling overseas and have been told we need some
vaccines. Are these safe for my child?
Travel vaccines are safe for children, but each vaccine has
different rules around dose, frequency and age. For example, hepatitis A
vaccine is given from 12 months of age, typhoid from two years of age and BCG
(tuberculosis vaccine) is safe from birth. It is best to discuss your travel
plans with your doctor as your destination will change what vaccines are needed
for your child.
How can I prevent my child getting travel sick?
Your local pharmacy or chemist will have a range
of travel sickness or anti-nausea tablets, along with some other remedies such
as pressure bands. Not all of these options are suitable for children, so talk
to your pharmacist before giving any to your child. Usually, it’s more
effective to give the medication half an hour before you start travelling.
Developed by The Royal Children's Hospital Community Information. We acknowledge the input of RCH consumers and carers.
Reviewed October 2018.
Kids Health Info is supported by The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit