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Babysitting Safety for Babysitters

Randy DeVaul

Posted on October 16, 2019 13:55

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New parents need to ensure that who they hire as a babysitter is competent and will keep their baby safe. Babysitters also need to ensure they are safe while babysitting. The following tips can help a new or experienced sitter, or their parents, think about how to stay safe while engaged in the babysitting "profession."

Whether a teen, a grandparent, or someone in between, if you promote yourself as a babysitter, there are certain safety considerations that you need to know.

First, if you are a teen, make sure you know the environment in which you will babysit. You should already know the parents of the child and, preferably, the child. In addition, your parents should know the child’s parents, as well, and they should know where you will be while sitting. No, this is not to ensure your parents retain control of your newly almost-independent life, but to ensure your personal safety and well-being.

Every sitter should know how to respond to an emergency in the home. For special needs’ children or special social situations – such as dispensing medication or supervising at a pool, whatever the case may be - you need to know the expectations of caring for that child in that situation. If not, you are not ready for that job. Even ‘simple’ tasks such as changing a diaper or bathing a young child require demonstration and knowledge of how to do them.

Sleeping children should be checked every 15 minutes or so. We have all heard the horror stories of deaths related to choking or stopped breathing. As a sitter, you are being paid to ensure the safety of the child, so a ‘sleeper’ does not equate to ‘free time’ to do as you wish.

Never answer the phone by telling someone you are sitting for the parents. You don’t want people to know you are alone with the kids. Simply state that the parent is unable to come to the phone at that moment and take a message. If someone shows up at the door unexpectedly, do not open it! If it’s the parents coming home early, they can let themselves in with their key and they should call you from their cell phone to let you know the schedule change.

If the house has pets, make sure you know before the parents leave if the child is to interact with the animals. Keep your eyes open for dangerous conditions that might develop when the child is playing and never leave an awake child unattended in any room. If you are going into another room, take the child with you. For something as simple as needing to go to the bathroom, put the child in the crib, playpen, or other ‘safe’ place.

Keep television, radio, or headset volumes low enough to be able to hear the child. Have a safe way to get home afterward. If it is going to be dark outside, have your parents pick you up or have the parents take you home if you live further than a couple of houses away.

You are responsible for that child, so make sure you are comfortable with any and all instructions, tasks, and timeframes. Do not hesitate to say you are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with something. Keep yourself and the child safe at home!

Randy DeVaul

Posted on October 16, 2019 13:55

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A Texas mother taking an infant safety class ended up saving her child's life.

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