Ten Tips for Safe Babysitting
Since babysitting is a big responsibility, sitters really need
to make sure they're ready. They should always:
- Be Prepared. Take a Safe Sitter® course (if
available). If not, look for a babysitter training class at your
local hospital. You need to know first aid and how to rescue a
choking infant or child.
- Screen Job Requests. When someone asks you to
babysit, be sure to ask yourself:
- "Am I available?" Do I have any other commitments for that time
- "Am I able?" Can I handle the number and ages of the children,
the length of the job, and the responsibilities?
- "Will I be safe?" Do I feel safe with the family, their home,
and the neighborhood?
- Keep Parents Informed. Write the following on
the family calendar:
- Name of employer
- Phone number
- Date and time of departure and return
- Allow Time with Employer for Instructions.
Allow 15 - 30 minutes before the parents leave to talk about the
responsibilities and to tour the house.
- House tour - location of children's rooms, off-limit areas,
phones, first aid supplies
- Children's routines - nap/nighttime, eating, activities, and
- House rules - rules for television, computer, visitors,
- Know Emergency Numbers. Before the employer
leaves, write down:
- Phone number and address of employer's home
- Phone (cell phone or pager instructions) for reaching
- Name and phone number of an immediately available adult
- Phone number of emergency services - 911 or:
- Fire Department
- Phone number for Poison Center (1-800-222-1222)
- Practice Safe Household Habits. Protect
yourself and the children:
- Lock all doors.
- Close all blinds and lock windows.
- Be careful with phone calls.
- Don't open the door to strangers.
- Watch Children at all Times. Remember,
injuries are the leading cause of death in young children.
- Be in Control of the Children AT ALL TIMES.
Become familiar with employers' approach to discipline. Know how to
set limits and correct children. Never slap, shake, or physically
punish a child.
- Obey the House Rules. Breaking rules may get
you into dangerous or embarrassing situations. Even if no obvious
harm occurs, you will confuse the children and set a bad
- Have Fun! Children are wonderful and well
worth your best efforts!