Baby Sitting Safety Tips
For parents and guardians
of young children.
Babysitting is a great way for kids to earn money and learn about children, families, having a job, managing money, home safety and product safety. But, every job has certain guidelines and baby-sitting is no exception! There are certain things that parents will expect of their baby sitter and certain things that the baby sitters will expect of the parents in order to make children and baby sitters as safe as possible while the parents are away from the home. The Abington Police Department asks you to read this Baby Sitting Safety Tips to help ensure the safety all children while parents are away from the home.
Safety Tips For the Parents!
- Personally interview all possible sitters. Observe their interaction with your children. Look for mature, responsible people who listen and respond well to your children and appear relaxed and happy with them.
- Ask for references (e.g., past employers, teachers, counselors, relatives, friends, neighbors.) Once you’ve selected, check all references carefully. Be sure to tell references that their comments won’t be revealed to anyone, including the sitter. Ask them if they believe that the sitter has the demeanor, responsibility and qualifications to care for children. Ask if they would hire this person to care for their children. If anything makes you feel uncomfortable, it may be best to select another person to care for your children. Ensure that you have his or her name, address, and number.
- If the sitter is not an adult, you should also meet his or her parents.
- Parents are also responsible for ensuring that children understand that the babysitter is in charge and that they are expected to follow all family rules.
- Make sure that gas or electric appliances are off, windows and doors are locked, smoke detector batteries are charged, heating or cooling system is adequate, safety gates are blocking stairways, animals or pets will not be a problem, household chemicals are put safely away and glass objects like mirrors and windows will not be shattered by an active child.
When the Babysitter Arrives
- Ask your sitter to arrive at least fifteen minutes before your departure time.
- If the sitter hasn’t been in your home before, conduct a brief tour of the house with them pointing out the location of phones, first-aid equipment, doors and other possible exits.
- Ensure that the sitter fully understands specific responsibilities and your general expectations which includes knowing:
- That children are not to be left alone.
- Family rules and disciplinary guidelines.
- Daily routines, including television, eating and sleeping arrangements.
- About any child’s food allergies.
- Emergency numbers of relatives, friends, neighbors and emergency numbers.
- How to contact you! Write down the address where you will be and your cell numbers.
- That all outside doors should be kept locked and not to open the door for anyone (without your prior permission.)
- That information should not be given to callers. Sitters should tell a caller that you are unavailable and take a message.
- That children should be watched closely while awake, especially if taken outside, and should be checked regularly after they have gone to sleep.
- Who the children may play with or visit.
- Rules associated with their use of your telephones, computers, and appliances.
- That the baby sitters friends should not be invited into your home.
When You Return Home
- You should always talk with the babysitter about:
- children's behavior and activity.
- any telephone calls received.
- anything out of the ordinary.
- Then, after the babysitter has left, talk to your children about:
1. anything made them feel afraid or
2. If they would or would not like him
or her to babysit again.
Safety Tips For the Baby Sitters!
- Always play it safe when baby sitting children!
- Have information written down and accessible in the event of an emergency (on the refrigerator is a good place); family name, children's names, how to contact parents, phone numbers of close relatives and neighbors, doctor's name and number and the number of the poison control center.
- In any emergency, call 911 and identify yourself by name, tell them that you are babysitting at the address and state the problem. Give the phone number you are calling from and follow any instructions the emergency personnel tell you.
- Get written instructions about any medications to be given to the children.
- Be sure to find out amounts and times that medication should be given to the child.
- Never have visitors over unless you have permission from the parents first. The parents may want to meet this person before.
- Plan a fire drill in your head. Plan on more than one way to get yourself and the children out of the house safely in case of a fire.
- Find out if you are supposed to give the children anything to eat or drink before bed. Ask about any food allergies.
- Make sure all the doors and windows are locked from the inside, and lock the front door after the parents leave. Turn on the front and rear lights to the house.
- Make sure you know where the children are and what they are doing at all times. Stay with younger children to be safe.
- If the door bell rings, look out the window to see who it is. Don’t open doors to strangers.
- Never let a stranger in the house. If you don't recognize them, don't let them in!
- When answering the phone, don't let people know you are there alone for long. Tell them you are watching the kids for a few minutes while the parents went to the corner store. Be sure to take a message and write the persons’ name, time of call, and message.
- After the children go to sleep, check on them every 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remember that you are in someone else's house as a guest. Do not make a mess! Clean up after yourself. Don't go through their refrigerator unless they’ve given you permission. Don't go through their things.
- Respect them like you would want them to respect you in your own room.
- Be aware of choking, strangulation and suffocation dangers in the home such as in: cribs, soft bedding, window blinds, curtain cords, clothing drawstrings, small objects and recalled products.
- Use Safety Gates where possible to prevent small children from the dangers of stairways or areas where the children should not be.
- Unless specifically instructed by the parents, do not bathe the baby. A clean facecloth in lukewarm water will clean the skin. Bathing a baby calls for utmost care and supervision. Aside from the risk of hot water scalds, there is also the danger of drowning. While you may want to be of help to the parents, bathing the infant is not recommended.
- Know first aid measures such as how to clear a childs’ airway and CPR.
- Take an approved Baby Sitting Safety Course as well as a Medical First Responder Course to learn more about emergency baby sitting procedures.
- In any emergency, or if something or someone makes you uncomfortable, CALL 911!
Fill out this each time you babysit and
Keep It By The Phone! PDF DOWNLOAD HERE!
In case of an emergency, always DIAL 911!
But, for a non-emergency, be sure to have Local Police Contact Number:
Parent Name - _______________________________
Home Address - ______________________________
Home Phone - _______________________________
Mothers Cell Phone - _________________________
Fathers Cell Phone - __________________________
Pager Number - ______________________________
Location where parents will be:______________ _________________________________________
Alternate Emergency Family Contact
Name - ___________________________________
Trusted Friend or Nearby Neighbor
Name - ___________________________________
Number - _________________________________
Special Instructions from Parents: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________