Help Your Babysitter Prepare For Anything

There is no doubt that children bring a tremendous amount of joy and fun into our lives; however, day after day, they can be quite the handful. For many parents, it is important to incorporate a much needed break every once in a while. But to truly enjoy time away from your child, you must first find the right babysitter.

By finding the right one, you are able to fully relax and enjoy time yourself, while also trusting that your child is safe and sound. 

When you're looking for a babysitter, give yourself enough time to be selective. This is not a process that you want to rush. It is important to find a babysitter that you not only fits well with you, but also clicks with your child. Start with these tips to find the right babysitter for you and your family:
  • Look for a sitter within your circle of friends, church, or community. This may allow for you to receive recommendations and reviews about the babysitter so that you have clear expectations.
  • Look for a sitter who is 13 years or older and mature enough to handle basic household emergencies.
  • Look for someone who already works with children, has had training or is certified. This should include what to do if a child begins to choke, basic first aid, and CPR. 
  • Have the sitter spend time with you before babysitting to meet the children and learn their routines. 
  • Always ask for and check references.
  • Be mindful of the age difference. For older children, 12+, the babysitter should be quite a bit older so that they see the babysitter as an authority figure.  
  • If applicable, speak to the babysitter’s parents to get a feel for how they handle responsibility.

To make sure your sitter is ready for any situation that arises and knows how to get help, give the sitter this checklist, filled out, for use in an emergency: 
  • Family name:
  • Phone number(s):
  • Address:
  • Children's names and ages:
  • Children's allergies, medical history, and daily medicines: 
  • Phone number where parent or guardian will be:
  • Address where parent or guardian can be reached:
  • Cell phone numbers:
  • Neighbor's name and phone number:
  • Local relative's phone number (if applicable):
  • Local emergency phone number:
  • Healthcare provider's name:
  • Healthcare provider's phone number:
  • Insurance name and number:
  • Poison control center:
  • Police:
  • Ambulance:
  • Fire department:
  • What time you will be home:

It is also recommended that you have any necessary medications and first aid supplies on hand so that they are easily accessible.

In addition to preparing for emergencies, make sure the sitter is clear on your "house rules" regarding:
  • What can be watched on TV
  • If visitors are allowed and who that includes
  • Telephone use
  • Smoking or drinking
  • Taking your child outside or traveling with them
  • Regular bedtime (for children under the age of 1, make sure to provide babysitters with these tips on how to avoid SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths).

The comfort and safety of all involved in babysitting is important, including the child, babysitter and parents. To ensure that babysitters feel comfortable, learn about more about the recommended safety suggestions for teenage babysitters.

While not every medical situation is an emergency, it is important that babysitters have the ability to seek urgent medical care if needed. The experts at ChoiceOne Urgent Care can provide the care and comfort that you need. With a full range of services for both adults and children, their specialists will deliver the most convenient, thorough care possible. 

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