Child Care & Babysitter Safety/Security - What Parents and Sitters Should Know

Child Care & Babysitter Safety/Security - What Parents and Sitters Should Know

Although many parents are reluctant to leave their children with a babysitter for the first time, career obligations and special events are bound to make it necessary. Babysitter safety is a very important topic for families with children of all ages. Finding the right babysitter requires careful screening and interviewing to find the best candidates, as parents need to be able to trust that the babysitter they choose is going to do a good job. Another way to enhance babysitter safety is to check references and conduct background checks. Asking references about their experiences with a particular babysitter can help parents decide if that babysitter is a good fit for their family. Background checks can help reveal histories of theft or violent crimes, which helps eliminate candidates who have sordid pasts. Parents should ask each babysitter candidate several questions about their experience with different age groups, past babysitting jobs, any relevant certifications or education, and other questions that will ease any concerns they may have.

Making sure a babysitter knows what to do in the event of an emergency is also important. Fires, inclement weather, and other emergencies can crop up at any time, so it is important for babysitters to know basic first aid. Every babysitter should be able to provide first aid for cuts, wounds, sunburns, insect bites and stings, contusions, and sprains. Parents should post all relevant emergency contact information near each telephone in the house. This contact list should include the local emergency services number, the number for a poison control center, contact information for the child’s pediatrician, and the telephone numbers where the parents can be reached while they are out. Babysitters should also know how to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver in case there is a medical emergency while they are working. The American Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations offer babysitter safety courses that include instruction in these techniques.

Before choosing a babysitter, each child in the home should spend time with the top candidate. Even if a babysitter is qualified, that does not mean that he or she will get along well with a particular set of children. Observing the babysitter during this time can help parents decide if the person is a good fit. It also gives children a chance to get to know this new person before parents have to leave them in the babysitter’s care. Taking the time to allow kids to get to know the babysitter can reduce anxiety and eliminate problems when it is time for the babysitter to take over. The following resources offer tips and advice for interviewing babysitters and checking their qualifications. They also offer tips for babysitter safety, from information on first aid to instructions for staying safe during fires and other disasters. Reviewing these resources can help families and babysitters become better acquainted with safety measures that save lives and reduce the risk of injuries.