Parents need to know that their child’s babysitter – whether it’s Grandma or the teenager next door – is prepared for any emergency that might arise. The American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI), a first-aid training and safety organization, recommends that babysitters become CPR-certified and be trained in basic first aid.
The organization also suggests the following tips for babysitters.
TIP: Print this list, give it to your babysitter, and review it together. Make sure that your sitter feels secure and that she has all the information she needs.
Emergency Information – Keep parents’ work, cell-phone and pager numbers on a list near the phone. Also make sure emergency numbers such as fire, police and poison-control are posted by the phone.
Home Security – Instruct sitters to keep all doors locked and to not open the door. Opening the door even a little can allow an intruder to enter the home. Make sure that they never reveal that there isn’t a parent or other adult present.
Telephone Use – Sitters should answer the phone by saying, “Hello, Smith residence.” They should tell the caller that the parent is busy and take a message. Again, never reveal that there is no adult present.
Water Safety – Never leave a child alone in or near a source of water. This includes a bathtub, shower, pool, lake, river or even a bucket of water. Young children can drown in just one inch of water.
Fire Safety – Make sure the sitter is aware of at least two escape routes out of the house.
Food Allergies – Parents should leave very clear instructions of what to prepare for the child’s meals. Be sure to tell the sitter if your children have food allergies or sensitivities and whether they are too young to chew certain types of food.
First Aid – Show the sitter where bandages and other first-aid items are kept.
Medication – Instruct the sitter never to administer medication – either prescription or over-the-counter – to a child without previous permission from the parent.
The ASHI also recommends babysitter certification courses, which are often offered through local hospitals and community school programs.
Safe at home? No matter where your kids spend their time -- at home, at a childcare provider’s house, or even at their grandparent's, are you certain that they are safe both indoors and out?