February 2005


  • Approach any child apparently in distress and ask if you can help.
  • Seek assistance from colleagues or supervisors where appropriate.
  • Be aware of the possibility of danger from others and question situations that you find suspicious.
  • Keep a look out for children apparently unaccompanied and communicate the details of any lost children to the appropriate central point.
  • Keep any lost children in a public area where they can be clearly seen.
  • Act professionally in all matters
  • Be aware of appearances and avoid any situations that might appear compromising.
  • Report any allegation (even if this is just a suspicion) of abuse or inappropriate conduct immediately to your line manager.

Do not

  • Engage in any "rough and tumble" or other horseplay
  • Physically restrain a child or young person except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. to prevent injury, damage to property or the collections or to prevent theft) and even then be careful to use only the minimum restraint necessary.
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to any visitor.
  • Use foul or abusive language to any visitor and especially not to or within earshot of a child
  • Physically assault or abuse any visitor and especially not a child or young person
  • Allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any kind. The main principles of touch are:
    • the desire to be touched should always be initiated by the child
    • touch should always be appropriate to the age and stage of development of the child
  • do things of a personal nature for children that they can do for themselves or that a parent/leader can do for them.

It is strongly recommended that staff do not, except in emergency situations:

  • go into the toilet with children unless another adult is present or gives permission (this may include a parent, teacher, group leader)
  • spend time alone with a child on his/her own. If you are in a situation where you are alone with a child, make sure you can be clearly observed or seen by others. You should, wherever possible, also avoid being alone in a vehicle with otherwise unaccompanied children or young people although this may not always be practicable, for example when accompanying work experience placements.