Safety First: Tips for Parents and Babysitters
• 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 – Tell the sitter to 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 – Leave clear instructions on what to prepare for your 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 any medication to a child without previous permission from the parent.
– Kathy Sena