Babysitting Safety Tips!

What does a babysitter need to know about safety?

We’ve compiled information from the Red Cross, University of Michigan and Mesa, AZ Police Dept to provide to parents of babysitters or YOU, if you’re considering this job! Thank these entities for the info below!  🙂

Printable Babysitter Checklist & Planning Tool

  • Before you accept a job, make sure you find out what is expected of you and that you are comfortable with it.
  • Learn first aid and CPR.    Find a CPR course near you.
  • Take the American Red Cross babysitter class if you are aged 12-15.
  • Allow time before the parents leave to get all the instructions and information you need.
  • Make sure you have all the emergency information you need—you could even bring your own checklist (see the list for parents above).
  • Meet the family pets.
  • Put babies to sleep on their backs in a crib—not on their sides or tummies—to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
    • Sitters need to know safe sleep guidelinesNever put anything in the crib with an infant—no toys, pillows, stuffed animals, or quilts.  Babies should sleep in a sleep sack or have a thin blanket only up to their chest with arms free, tucked securely on the mattress.  Find out more about safe sleep for babies.
  • Never shake a baby or young child. Even children as old as five can be seriously injured by shaking. Find out from the parents what to do if the baby won’t stop crying.
  • Don’t give the kids medicine, food or drink unless instructed to by the parents.
  • If you are instructed to feed the children, make sure you are familiar with food safety guidelines.  You need to know how to prevent choking and food poisoning.
  • Always ask about food allergies.
  • Keep doors and windows locked—lock the door after the parents leave.
  • Turn on outside lights in the evening.
  • If the kids are asleep, check on them every 15 minutes.
  • Don’t leave the house with the kids unless you have permission.
  • Keep doors locked while you are outside.
  • If something looks strange or out of place when you return, do not go inside.  Instead, go to a neighbor’s house and call the police.
  • Don’t let anyone in the house unless you personally know him or her, AND the parents said it’s okay.
  • If someone comes to the door and you are suspicious, or if you suspect a prowler, stay inside and call the police at 911.
  • Never identify yourself as the sitter on the phone, instead, say the parent can’t come to the phone and take a message to have them call back.
  • Don’t tie up the phone, in case the parents are trying to call.
  • Don’t have friends over while you are working.
  • Be alert for potentially dangerous items or situations in the home.
  • Never leave a child alone in the bathtub, not even for just a second.
  • Be prepared for a fire:  know all the ways out of the house.  Get the kids out immediately, staying close to the floor, and do not open a door if it is hot.  Once you are out of the burning house, call for help from a neighbor’s, and do not go back in for any reason. Want to learn more about sitter fire safety?
  • Make sure you have safe escort home.
  • If your employer seems drunk or is acting strange, don’t let them take you home.  Instead, call home and have someone come and get you—trust your instincts on this.
  • The American Red Cross website has babysitter safety tips and printable materials to use on the job.
  • Check out these Spanish language babysitting safety tips!

Sitters who know and follow these guidelines will be highly respected by parents, and always in demand.

Printable Babysitter Checklist & Planning Tool

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