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Babysitting Tips for Safer Kids

Jul 4, 2008
Parents like a night out. Mom enjoys the Spa with friends. Dad may play cards. Together they may head to dinner and a movie. Any of these activities may require you to hire a babysitter. Here are some safety tips for you when hiring a babysitter. They will give you and your babysitter an extra measure of safety and confidence.

First, choose your babysitter carefully. Babysitting is, in fact, another form of child care. Therefore, choosing a babysitter is just as important as choosing any other type of child care. Carefully and thoughtfully consider anyone as being competent to care for your child while you're away, even for just a few hours.

Two, make sure your babysitter is at least sixteen years of age. Many younger age teens are competent and responsible. Even if you know a great fifteen year old, it is recommend that your babysitter still 16 years of age. At least in the USA, if anything should go wrong and you are found to have left your child with someone unsuitable which includes someone underage, you could be charged with neglect. Better safe than sorry.

Third, take the time to let your babysitter know your child care expectations before you leave your home. If there are restrictions as to where the sitter takes the child or what activities to do with them, make it all clear. If the phone and any visitors are off limits, be up front and open with the sitter about those off limit restrictions.

Fourth, leave your sitter a handy sheet with the following information on it typed out neatly:

-Write down where you will be and include the address and phone number.
-Write down other important phone numbers such as
-Your own phone number and address
-Your family doctor's name and phone number
-Poison Control Center phone number
-Trusted Neighbor's name and phone number
-Friend's name and phone number

Make sure you also have written down important information about your child, such as
-Age
-Current medications
-Allergies

Let the sitter know of any special problems your child may have, such as an allergy to bee stings, certain foods or household products. Make sure they know the need for medication and at what specific time it is to be given. Make sure the directions are clearly explained and written down.

Show the sitter the location of your first aid kit the location of fire extinguisher and also write these down, too.

Write down basic instructions for a fire:
-Stay calm
-Locate the children
-Stay low to the floor
-Touch closed doors with the back of your hand
-DO NOT open the door if it is hot.
-Quickly and safely exit the house at the nearest exit

Additionally, Show the babysitter where emergency exits, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers are located. Demonstrate how to enable and disable security systems and alarms.

Show the sitter where you keep interior door keys in case your child locks themself inside a room.

Leaving your child, even for a brief time with a sitter so you can enjoy a night out can be an even more enjoyable event when you know your babysitter is not only competent but well prepared for any emergency with your child.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is a child safety expert, #1 interneational bestselling author, consultant, speaker and trainer. For more information on the A, B, C's of child safety see The Belly Brain Podcasts.
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