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Babysitting Safety Tips

Babysitting is the transfer of childcare responsibilities from the parent or guardian to another responsible person. Parents must ensure that their home is safe environment for their children and the babysitter. It is the parents' responsibility to let the children know that the rules are to be obeyed when the parents are out of the house. The children must respect the babysitter by listening to and following their instructions.

By properly preparing your home for your absence, you minimize the risks of being away.

Babysitters must be constantly aware of where the children are and what it is that they are doing. A well-prepared babysitter will be highly respected and greatly appreciated by parents. Babysitters must understand how the home functions and be able to deal effectively with emergencies. As a babysitter, you are entrusted with a child's life. Your primary responsibility is to care for the children's needs, keep them happy and most of all: keep them safe.

Finding the right family/babysitter match

Finding an employer: The best sources of childcare employment are the recommendations of family, friends, and neighbors. Caution should be always be used if advertising in public forums where your phone number is made public, and is difficult to determine the suitability of the contact. Get to know your employer. Babysitters should get to know their employer before taking a job. Check references if it will be the first time working for a family. Ask to speak with previous babysitters. If contacted by a person unfamiliar to you, ask who recommended you and check it out before accepting the job. To protect yourself, make sure you or your parents know and trust the family for whom you will be babysitting. Let your parents know the address and phone number of where you will be in case of emergency.

Finding a babysitter: Parents may advertise for a babysitter in the newspaper or through a local high school, church, or civic organization. Parents could check the Yellow Pages of the telephone book for a list of professional child care services. When using a commercial babysitting service insure it has made a check of it’s employees prior history including a criminal history check. Get to know your babysitter. Ask for a resume or a list of references. Know how many children your babysitter is capable of caring for. Asking a babysitter to be responsible for more children then they are comfortable with compromises the children's safety. Speak with the babysitter’s parents. Write down their name, home address, and telephone number. Check references, to insure that the babysitter is a mature and experienced individual who is capable to care for the children.

Babysitters preparation for a job

Take the babysitting responsibility seriously. Responsible babysitters prepare for all babysitting jobs. Many schools have babysitter-training programs. It's a good idea to learn basic first aid and infant and child CPR before embarking on a babysitting career.

Get directions to the job location and make arrangements to get to the location and return home from the babysitting job. Don't assume your employer will take you home. Be sure to ask them before they leave the house. If you are walking home, especially after dark, ask an adult or parent to walk you home.

Arrive at the home early, this time may be used to meet the children, tour the house, receive instructions and house safety rules. Having visitors while babysitting is a bad policy. Babysitters should always get approval if they would like to have a visitor of the same sex. Babysitters should never have visitors of the opposite sex.

The babysitter check list and instruction sheet An information sheet must be filled out and left behind with the sitter.

The babysitter check list and instruction sheet An information sheet must be filled out and left behind with the sitter.
  • Parents Names. How to contact them? Where they will be? When they will return? Who to contact if       unable to contact the parents (neighbors, family members or trusted adult).
  • Emergency contact and phone numbers. Emergency - 911. Poison Control number.
  • Medical information. Doctors phone numbers. Special medical needs and medications. Parents must clearly write the amount, time and method of administration of any medications.

Special instructions
  • Locate the first aid kit, flashlights, and the fire extinguisher.
  • The parents should explain to the babysitter how they wish misbehavior to be handled.
  • The babysitter should ask the parents how they want phone calls handled. If there is an answering       machine in the home, ask to use it to screen callers.
  • Ask the parents whether children are to have a hallway light or other light on when put to bed. Bedroom      doors should be left open slightly so the children will know the babysitter is still there, and the sitter can      hear any calls from the children.
  • Parents should let the babysitter know if they are allowed to do homework, watch TV, use the radio,      computer, or phone after the children have gone to bed.
  • Receive any instructions on baths or meals
  • If for any reason you must leave the house, TAKE THE CHILDREN WITH YOU!
  • Babysitters should not snoop about the house. Stay out of drawers, bedroom closets, the basement, etc. If you do, you may be unjustifiably blamed for missing items later.

After the parents return

The babysitter you should report bad behavior and good behavior of the children, anything unusual that happened, telephone calls, visits, and so on.

In the absence of the babysitter the parents should ask the children about the events and activities they had during your absence. Ask them if they liked and trusted the babysitter. Ask if anything happened that made them uncomfortable or afraid.

Babysitting first aid tips

In an emergency call 911.

Learn CPR. Knowledge of CPR during an emergency could be needed.

In case of accident or illness, don't try to be a doctor or nurse except for minor cuts and bruises. If a minor problem arises call the parents for instructions. If they cannot be reached, call any alternate persons or your own parents. If unable to contact an adult go to a neighbor for help.

For minor cuts, stop bleeding by applying gentle pressure with a clean cloth. Wash the wound and apply a bandage. Notify the parents about all injuries unless they instructed otherwise.

If the child swallows something poisonous, call 911. Have the container ready so you can read it to the operator on the phone.

Put cool water on a burn, this slows skin damage. Do not use ointments, lotions or butter. If the skin is already blistered, dead white, brown, or charred, you need emergency help. Call 911