Most families at one time or another need a babysitter for their little ones. Choosing a babysitter to care for your child can be a difficult process. To make your experience easier here are a few safety tips to consider next time you are in need of a babysitter or leave your children in someone else’s care.
- If possible, ask a trusted friend or a family member to watch your children. Having peace of mind can make the experience enjoyable for all parties involved.
- If you are unable to use family or friends, ask your friends if they have any recommendations.
- Do not hire any sitter under the age of 12.
- Make sure your sitter is CPR certified and knows first aid.
- Talk with your children about the babysitter; determine if your child is comfortable around the sitter.
- If you are not completely comfortable with leaving your child with an unfamiliar sitter, hire them first to “sit” with your child while you are home. Watch how they interact with your child and respond to different situations that may arise during the day.
- The address and major cross streets of your home should be the first on the list. If the babysitter has to call 911 the dispatcher will need to know the location emergency personnel must respond to. More than likely the babysitter will not know your address so having this information readily accessible will prevent any delay in EMS response time.
- Write down the address and phone number of the location where you can be reached. Leave your cell number, spouse’s cell number or anyone you feel that can assist the babysitter if needed. If you have trusted neighbors, leave the babysitter your neighbor’s phone number as well as any trusted family members.
- Leave the number for poison control (1-800-222-1222) and the local police or sheriff station.
- Inform the babysitter if your child has food or drug allergies, or has any medical conditions you believe they should be aware of.
- If your child takes medication leave specific instructions on the amount to give, what time the dose is due and the time last given.
- Educate the sitter on how you would like for them to handle misbehavior issues.
- Inform your babysitter not to open the door or answer the phone. This will relieve the babysitter of having to disclose the “man or woman of the house” is not home.
Working together as a community, we can educate ourselves on how to keep our children healthy and injury-free while with a babysitter. For more information on babysitting tips visit www.med.umich.edu. If you have any further questions or concerns, please call the Palmdale Sheriff Station at 661-272-2400 or email Deputy Jodi Wolfe at email@example.com.
- Deputy Jodi Wolfe