A resource for talking about safety with children

Posted: 04/05/2020

As parents, grandparents, carers, teachers and other people who support children, one of our priorities is to keep kids safe.

Of course, this isn’t always in our control. Unless we wrap our kids in cotton wool and never let them explore the world, they are going to take risks and challenge themselves. And inevitably, no matter how much adults may try to protect them, they will experience difficult emotions and be exposed to potential dangers from time to time. Experiencing the rich and varied territory of feelings, emotions, relationships and changing circumstances is part of how they learn and grow.

So how do we support them to navigate the strange and wonderful world around them with awareness and confidence?

Recognising body signals

One of most valuable skills children can have is the ability to recognise when they feel unsafe. They can do this by learning to recognise and interpret body signals. Sometimes called their ‘early warning signs’, body signals tell them when they feel unsafe or under pressure.  For example, they might notice that they have a tight tummy or they feel tense in the shoulders. Their legs might go weak or they might not be able to speak. As anger is mounting, fists can form, the jaw tightens, the face hardens.

Equally, it is important that children know how it feels in their body when they are safe and at ease. They may feel relaxed, energetic, confident or free to speak up. They may have an open body posture or may express their comfort by smiling or connecting with others.

Knowing what to do next

Once a child knows how to recognise when they are feeling unsafe, they then need to know what to do next. Who should they tell? Who can they trust?

It is important to have conversations with children about what they would do if they found themselves in a challenging or confronting situation. Talking through options and developing a plan can help reduce fear and build confidence.

It can also be reassuring for parents and carers to know that, should their child find themselves in a difficult situation, they have strategies for managing that situation in proactive and positive ways.

Tell a Trusted Adult card set

Tell a Trusted Adult is a set of 35 cards to support conversations with children around safety. These beautifully-designed cards come in pairs, one depicting a child feeling safe and one depicting a child feeling unsafe or under pressure.

The cards are designed to help children build their social and emotional literacy, especially how their body communicates distress or concern. Working with the cards will support children through transitions, help them identify their circle of trusted adults, and build their confidence and ability to act.

Developed by teacher, Sharon Hynes, and designer/teacher’s aid, Katerina Meda, this card set also includes simple, fun activity cards and ten lesson plans with adaptations for a range of pre-school and primary school ages. Sharon and Katerina have created a term’s worth of lesson plans aligned with the Australian State and Federal curriculum. However, these activities and lesson plans work equally well with groups in any setting (such as children’s services or foster care) and can be readily used one-on-one with children anywhere.


Card set
35 laminated, full-colour cards, 130mm x 190mm
polypropylene box, 60-page booklet
Booklet authors: Sharon Hynes with Sue King-Smith & Karen Bedford
Illustrator/designer: Katerina Meda
Cat no: 4980  AU $59.50 (includes GST)

Card set (as above), PLUS:
10 lesson plans (A4 PDFs with activities tailored to ages 3-10+) and 6 full-colour posters (A3 PDFs)
Cat no: 4981  AU $99.00 (includes GST)

6 responses to “A resource for talking about safety with children”

  1. Melissa Cooke says:

    Hi is this Kit available to purchase ? or pre purchase before end financial year.


    • Chris Cain says:

      Hi Melissa, both the cards and the full kit are available to pre-order now. If you wish to place your order now we can invoice right away, so the date falls in this financial year. In the comments section of the shopping cart, just type ‘invoice me now’ and we will do so.

  2. Swee Lee Goh says:

    I am interested in this set of cards. Pls keep me posted when it is ready to purchase.

    • Chris Cain says:

      Hello Swee Lee,

      We will notify everyone on our mailing list and through our newsletter when these cards will be available. If you wish to pre-order you can do so by purchasing the cards through our website and we will prioritise all pre-orders when they are released.

  3. Patricia Blanks says:

    I would like to purchase these when available

    • Chris Cain says:

      Hi Patricia,

      We will advertise the release of the cards in our newsletter when they are released, alternatively you can pre-order the cards through our website now and your order will be sent as a priority when the cards have been released.

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