Part 2 – Safety

(Responsibility for Self)

Buddy System
Define the Buddy System and explain its benefits. The buddy system is a procedure in which two people, “the buddies”, operate together as a single unit so that they are able to monitor and help each other. In adventurous or dangerous activities, where the buddies are often equals, the main benefit of the system is improved safety: each may be able to prevent the other becoming a casualty or rescue the other in a crisis. When this system is used as part of training or the induction of newcomers to an organisation, the less experienced buddy learns more quickly from close and frequent contact with the experienced buddy than when operating alone. This concept is also applicable to minimise tool setup time. The buddy system is used in:
  • The US armed forces, referred to by various names in each branch ("Wingmen" in the Air Force, "Battle Buddies" in the Army, "Shipmates" in the Navy)
  • Scuba-diving, where it is called buddy-diving
  • Firefighting, where it is called the two-in, two-out principle.
  • and of course, Scouting


Discuss the causes of accidents around the home and garden, including in sheds and around swimming pools. The most common place for childhood injury is in and around the home. Each year, many thousands of these injuries occur in the backyard and garden. Common injuries are fractures, cuts, bruising and lacerations from swings, trampolines and toys.
  • Safety tips for the backyard
    • Ensure a fence with a self-closing, self- locking gate securely encloses the garden. A child resistant catch will help to prevent young children from escaping into the driveway or street.
    • Cover garden ponds with wire mesh that is strong enough to hold the weight of a young child and high enough above the surface of the water to keep their faces out of the water.
    • Safely store all flammable liquids, plants, chemicals and garden dusts out of reach of children or in a lockable garden shed.
    • Remove any poisonous plants. The Poisons Information Centre can provide assistance if suspected poisoning has occurred.
    • Garden tools should not be left plugged in or running. Gardening tools and equipment should be stored in a locked garden shed.
    • Tree branches that overhang or might break should be removed.
    • Ladders should not be left where a child can climb them. Store ladders out of reach, such as in a locked garden shed.
  • Safety tips for Pools
  • On average in Australia, one child drowns every week in pools in the back yard. It is now a legal requirement to have a secure fence around the pool. If you own a pool, here are some safety tips for adult to avoid accidents:
    • Always watch children carefully when they are around the pool. Children drown quickly and quietly
    • Pavement surrounding pools can get slippery so be aware of and clean up any spillages
    • Set your rules: No running, no bombing
    • Remove the ladder if an above the ground pool is not being used
    • Lock pool chemicals away out of reach of children
    • Supervise children while they are swimming at all times. Supervise from within the pool area, not from in the house.
    • Do not use floatation devices unsupervised
    • Do not use a partially covered pool. Remove the cover completely.
    • Keep toys away from pool area
    • Remove chairs and tables from pool surroundings to prevent children using them to climb over the fence
    • Learn CPR


Discuss the safety aspects of travelling in cars, buses and trains. Seat Belt Basics
Whenever you ride in a car, wear your seat belt every time. No matter how short the trip is — even if it's only around the corner — you still need to buckle up.
Get in the Back
Here's another important safety rule: sit in the back seat. Kids 12 years old and under need to be sitting in the back. It's simply the safest place to be. If the car you're riding in gets into an accident, you have much less chance of hitting something hard like the windshield if you're in the back.
If you're in the back seat with friends or brothers and sisters, everyone needs to keep their seat belts on and not horse around. It can be hard for the driver to concentrate on driving and see what's going on outside the car if you're jumping around back there. Short story: It can be dangerous and everyone could get hurt.
Rules for Bus Safety
At the bus stop, wait in a safe place away from the road. Do not run and play while waiting. Signal to let the driver know you want to get on. Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it. If there are passengers to get off wait for them first. Use the hand rail to help you get on.
As with riding in a car, the best thing to do on the bus is buckle up (if the bus has seat belts). And play it cool when you're on the bus: Sit quietly, read, talk to friends or look out the window during the trip. No jumping, running around, or throwing things.
This can make it hard for the driver to concentrate, and kids might get hurt.
Keep the aisles clear at all times. Keep bags under the seats or on your lap. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions. You have to pay attention as you're getting off the bus, too. When you step down, hold onto the handrail and be careful that your backpack or book bag doesn't get caught on the rail or in the
door. When getting off the bus move away from the kerb and walk straight to the footpath. If you need to cross the road, wait for the bus to leave, there is a better line of sight. Never walk, or cross the road in-front of the bus. If there is a pedestrian crossing nearby ALWAYS use this.
STOP LOOK LISTEN and THINK before crossing.
If you leave something on the bus, never return to the bus to get it. The driver may not see you come back and may begin moving the bus.
Trains are very similar to buses, however an important extra detail is being sensible on the platform, and staying back from the edge at all times, but especially when a train is near.
Remember also that it is against the law to cross the railway track except at a proper crossing, and then only when it is OK to do so (as per signs/lights etc)


Demonstrate an understanding of the dangers of swimming in
- Swimming Pools
Even though pools are generally a safe environment for swimming, many people drown each year in backyard pools. Many of these are (very) young children who are not able to swim , but who are drawn to the water to play with it and fall in.
Another risk around pools is slipping and falling. Water obviously makes the surounding grou nd wet very easily, and people of all ages can slip, especially on tiled/shiny surfaces or where excessive dampness has caused moss etc to occur.
Diving into a pool can result in hitting your head on the side or bottom of the pool, which may make you unable to swim properly, or could even knock you unconcious. This can even occur when swimming properly, especially in smaller pools. Skylarking, or silly behaviour can cause someone to be injured or drowned. A particular form of this is holding someone underwater too long, even by accident.


- Rivers and Lakes In addition to any of the above risks, In rivers and lakes it is often hard to see far into the water depth, and many unseen snares can lurk there, Small and large tree branches as well as rocks are the most common underwater obstacles. For this reason it is very important not to dive into rivers or lakes without first checking slowly exactly how deep the water is and what items are in the way. Soft mud and underwater reeds are also a possible risk.


- Sea Branches are less likely in the sea, but seaweed can still be a problem. However the two main risks are waves/rips, and sealife. It is a good idea to learn how to “read” the surf, so you know where rips are and where is safe, in case you are at a beach that does not have lifesavers who set up safe-swimming flags.
Sea-life such as shark, jelly-fish, bluebottle, blue-ring octopus etc can all cause injury or death.


- Dams Small dams are very similar in risk to rivers/lakes, however dams also often have a water-pump (of varying size depending on the dam size). The in-flow pipe for the pump can suck people into them, and easily cause drowning, so it is important to know what is there and where it is.


Identify safe areas for swimming In each of the above situations, NEVER swim alone.
In the above information, the dangers are mentioned, so it is a matter of checking the water in question for the dangers you know may be present.


Explain what you should do to make sure you don’t get lost in the bush. and what to do if something goes wrong.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. Make sure that when you do get back you let them know so that they don't call out the cavalry.
  • Be prepared. Know where you are going, take a map, and give the details to a responsible adult who is not going with you. They can “raise the alarm” if you are not back in time. Even if you are only going for a day walk take a torch (to signal rescuers), some matches (to light a signal fire), enough food and water for at least two days, some warm clothing and a small mirror for signalling rescuers.


Demonstrate three ways of making distress signals.
  • If there is open area, the word HELP can be written in sand or the letters made out (LARGE) using rocks/sticks etc.
  • A good method, especially if it will be cold where you are is to light a fire for warmth, and keep some green, leafy branches nearby. If you see or hear possible searchers, place the green branches onto the fire, and the resulting smoke will make it easier for you to be seen.
  • Having a mirror with you can also be a good idea (especially a metallic, unbreakable one) as it can be used to reflect the suns light at a plane or people you can see in the distance who may not have seen you.
  • If you have a torch, SOS in morse code can be sent from a high place, or if people can be seen in the distance at night.


Discuss the ways that fires can start in the home and in the bush Fires around the home can start in a large variety of ways. Sometimes they can be seen starting and sometimes they are burning well before you get any warning.
  • Worn or electrical wiring (in the house wires or to/in an appliance) can cause excessive heat or a spark that can start a fire.
  • A heater left on unattended or knocked over.
  • An item such as an Iron left unattended.
  • Matches etc left around where they can be played with by young children.
In the bush the most likely causes of a fire are –
  • matches
  • campfires left unattended
  • lightning strikes
  • sunlight through a broken bottle (it acts like a magnifying glass)


Show what to do if you are in a fire at home. Have the cubs demonstrate the Get Low & Go, go, go technique.
This can also be incorporated as a part of a game such as North-South-East-West.


Discuss what to do if you do not feel safe somewhere The best thing to do in that situation is to get away from that situation as quickly as you can, or get another person that you trust or a friend to be there with you. It is probably better to avoid being there in the first place!



© 2008 Ian Moggs - rights are given for copying and printing for personal use or use in cub-scout or similar groups.