As a sitter, you have been entrusted to care for parent’s most valued asset, their children. One of the most important aspects of being a sitter is keeping the kids’ safe. A lot of this can be intuitive – but there are a lot of things that you may not think about during a sit that can quickly turn into a problem. And problems typically don’t slowly manifest, they happen quick and will require you to act fast for everyone’s ultimate safety.
- Have the following information written down and readily accessible in the event of an emergency (always good to ask if the family can provide you with an emergency sheet): Family name, children’s names, house address with nearest cross street, instructions on how to contact the parents, phone number(s) of close relatives or neighbors, doctor’s name and phone number.
- In the event of an emergency: Call 911: identify yourself by name, tell them you are babysitting and state the problem.
- Get written instructions about any medicines to be given to the children– how much and what time.
- Take a walk through the house and check for any special locks, windows or doggie doors that could be climbed out of, or anything else that could potentially be a problem. During the walk through, check for hazards and things that the children can get into, such as matches, lighter fluid, electric cords, plastic bags, medication, or anything else that may be dangerous.
- Be sure to find out if you are to give the children anything to eat or drink before bed.
- Make sure all the doors and windows are locked from the inside, and lock the front door after the parents leave.
During the Sit
- Keep your attention and focus on the child (or children) at all times.
- Never have music or television turned up so loud that you cannot hear a child cry for help.
- Keep telephone conversations brief.
- Never open the door to strangers. If the parents didn’t tell you to expect someone, don’t open the door.
Other Safety Tips
- Keep kids from playing on stairs and keep stairs clear of obstacles such as toys or shoes. If there is a gate across a stairway, make sure it remains closed.
- To prevent burns or drowning, do not bathe a child while babysitting.
- To prevent falls from a changing table, be prepared before changing the baby. Have everything you need (diaper, wipes, clothes, etc.) within your reach and never turn your back on the baby.
- Remember that infants and toddlers love to put things in their mouths and that they can easily choke on small items like coins, food, pins and toy parts.
After children are put to bed, be sure to frequently check bedrooms to make sure the child is not crying, is covered up, and is not in danger of falling out of bed or suffocating.
At ZipSit, we’re on a mission to ensure that the sitting process is made easier for both families and sitters. We’re doing just that by constantly innovating our mobile app to improve the global sitting industry for the better, so we can change the way families and sitters find, connect, schedule and transact with each other – all for free. For more information about our app, please visit http://zipsit.com.