Leaving Your Child With a Sitter

For your child’s safety while in the care of a babysitter, go over this list of important safety information with the babysitter. Add to the list to cover information special for your home and for your child.

Start by checking the references for the babysitter.

Here are some suggestions from the American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI), a first-aid training and safety organization.

Home Safety: Have the sitter keep all doors shut and locked, and do not open the door for anyone.. Provide instructions for any callers at the door in addition to NOT revealing that the parents are not at home.

Emergency Information: Make sure Emergency numbers such as police, fire and poison-control, are posted by the phone. Also leave phone numbers where you can be reached.

First Aid: Make sure the sitter knows where to get all first aid materials

Water Safety: Always watch children near water, the bathtub, shower, pool, even a bucket, children can drown in just one inch of water

Fire safety: Show the sitter your plan for getting everyone out of the house. Show the sitter and remind the older children of the outdoor meeting place in the event of a fire.

Food Allergies: Be sure to tell the sitter if your children have food allergies. Make sure the sitter understands what you want them to prepare for the children.

Telephone: Never reveal that there is no parent present. You may prefer they not answer the phone at all.

Medications. Leave written instructions for times and amount of medicines to be given to the child. Remind the sitter not to give the child any medication without your permission.

Try these three websites for quick help on most child safety questions:

Kid Source A useful collection of child safety topics.

KeepKidsHealthy A pediatrician’s guide to child health and safety.

MedlinePlus An easy to use U.S. Government child safety information site.