Babysitting Safety

The holidays are often the busiest and most hectic time of year. With all the shopping that needs to be done, preparations to be overseen and holiday parties to attend, you’ll most likely hire a sitter at one time or another. However, choosing the right sitter is a tough decision. Parents need to make sure they choose someone dependable, mature and fully able to handle the responsibilities associated with caring for children.

It is also parents’ responsibility to ensure their home is safe for the children and sitter. Taking simple safety precautions will help protect your children and allow you to leave with peace of mind. Here are some sitting safety tips:

  • Firmly establish ground rules and expectations with your children and the sitter.
  • Make sure your children know who is responsible and in charge. Allow them to get acquainted with the sitter before you leave.
  • Have a first aid kit, flashlight and fire extinguisher available, and make sure the sitter knows where they are located.
  • Leave emergency numbers posted at every phone. Include police, fire and emergency department numbers. Make sure the sitter knows where you are going to be and post your cell number near the phones as well as the number at your physical location, if possible.
  • Post your home phone number, home address, children’s names and ages, medical information, doctor’s names and close relatives’ or neighbors’ phone numbers near the phone.
  • Provide detailed written information about any medications to be given to children.
  • Explain how the locks and doors work.
  • Practice a fire drill escape routine with the sitter. Make sure the sitter knows what the avenues of escape are and what procedures to take in the event evacuation is required.
  • Review some ground rules with the sitter. Remind the sitter not to tell callers that he/she is home alone with the children and not to open the doors to strangers. Visitors are not usually recommended.

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