What Your Babysitter Needs to Know
Most importantly, you should be sure your sitter has taken a
babysitting course that teaches first aid and care of the choking
infant or child. Also you need to:
- Be sure to tell your sitter where you can be reached and when
you will return home.
- Leave list of emergency numbers next to your phone. Include the
phone number for emergency services (fire, ambulance, police), a
phone number for an immediately available adult, and the Poison
Center (911 or 800-222-1222). Include your phone number and
address with clear directions on how to locate your
- Be sure your sitter knows what to do if there is an
emergency. Always have first aid supplies and a first aid
chart available for easy reference. (A first aid chart may be
obtained from the American Academy of Pediatrics by calling
- Discuss any special health conditions or medication that the
sitter needs to know. Write down instructions for medications
- how much, how often, and how to give.
- Take the babysitter on a tour of the house to locate all
entrances and exits, fire/burglar alarms, first aid supplies, fuse
box, flashlights, and off-limits areas. Discuss what to do in
case of fire - escape route, where to go call for help, and any
escape routines you may have practiced with your
- Review feeding, naptime, and bedtime routines.
- Discuss house rules on use of phone, television, and
Internet. Be clear that smoking, alcohol, and parties are
- Give instructions for comforting child and tips for managing
- Once you have oriented a new sitter, subsequent pre-departure
briefings will take less time. You should allow 15 - 20
minutes each visit. Not only does that allow you to give last
minute specific instructions, but it also gives your child a chance
to adjust to your departure and warm up to the babysitter.