Babysitting is a great way to earn extra spending money, but it’s a big responsibility too. When the parents leave, you are in charge, which means you are completely responsible for the safety and well-being of the children you are looking after.
Parents are counting on you to keep their treasured children safe. Here are nine things you can do to guarantee the children's safety and gain their parents’ well-deserved trust.
1. Remind the Parents to Leave Contact InformationIt is important that you are always able to reach the parents. If they forget to leave their contact information, you should not be shy about reminding them to leave it with you.
2. Know Basic First Aid and CPR
Every babysitter should know how to respond in an emergency situation. Emergencies are always a surprise, and you never know when one will arise. Taking a babysitter training course
is an excellent way for you to learn how to cope with almost any emergency. Remember, even if you have first aid training, don’t ever hesitate to call 911 if you feel a situation is more than you can handle.
3. Avoid Foods and Toys That Can Cause Choking
Do not feed young children grapes, hot dogs, carrots or large chunks of food without cutting them into small pieces. Peanut butter may be difficult for children to swallow, and you should completely avoid nuts, popcorn and hard candy. Do not allow the children to play with small toys because they might put them into their mouth and choke on them. If you are planning babysitting games
, be sure that all of the pieces are appropriate in size.
4. Never Leave Children UnattendedKeep children within your sight at all times, unless you have safely put them to bed. You should always be able to hear them or any noises they might make. Never leave a baby unattended on a changing table, bed or couch because you never know when the baby will roll over. Never leave a child alone in the bathtub, and don't be distracted by the computer, TV or phone.
5. Take Extra Care When Putting a Baby to BedMake sure the crib is empty before laying an infant down in it. There should not be any toys, pillows or anything else in the crib. You should always put an infant to sleep on his or her back, and you should not cover the baby with heavy blankets.
6. Lock the Doors and WindowsKeep the doors and windows locked when you are babysitting. Never tell anyone over the phone that you are alone with children. Tell any callers that the parents are unavailable and ask to take a message for them.
7. Be Cautious When CookingKeep pot handles turned into the center of the stove so the children do not grab them and pull them off the stove. Pay close attention to anything you are cooking. Remember that microwaved foods may be hotter in certain spots, so you should stir them and test them carefully before offering them to the children.
8. Wash Everyone’s HandsYoung children need to be reminded to wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs and illness. They should always wash after using the restroom. They should also wash before and after eating. You should always wash your hands before and after cooking or feeding the children, using the restroom and changing a diaper.
9. Keep Dangerous Items Out of ReachPlace all medicines, vitamins, cleaners, sharp objects and anything else that might be dangerous in a place where the children cannot reach them. This includes things that you might not normally think of as dangerous, such as toothpaste or mouthwash.