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7 Safety Tips to Remember While Babysitting

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Babysitting isn’t for the faint of heart. You temporarily assume parental responsibility, and those folks have the toughest job in the world.

In other words, you have to take precautions to keep the kids in your charge protected. Here are seven safety tips to remember when babysitting.

 

Survey the Premises 

Hopefully, the family whose children you watch did a thorough job of childproofing their home. However, you can’t take such measures for granted. If you mind infants or toddlers, get down and take a look at each room from a kid’s eye point of view — those throw pillows you left on the floor look like a cozy TV-watching spot, but they could suffocate a sleeping baby.

 

Look for hazards for more mobile older children, too. Keep kids away from dangers like garage doors — over 7,500 people suffer finger injuries from getting caught every year. Watch out for heavy objects atop furniture that could tip. A television could severely harm a child climbing on dresser drawers to grab the remote.

 

Employ Alarm Systems

Remember how Kevin McAllister made it look like his house was occupied to deter the thieves in “Home Alone?” Take a tip from that clever youth and keep the indoor lights on and curtains closed after dark. Besides, it’s a strange house — you’ll feel more comfortable if you can clearly see everything.

 

Outside, motion detectors are best. You can also put the porch light on if the house is surrounded by neighbors. If the home is in a remote area where thieves need light to see and few neighbors may notice suspicious activity, leave it dark.

 

Keep the deadbolts and chain locked at all times — this keeps the wrong folks out while deterring curious tots from escaping. If the family has an alarm system, use it. If you mind multiple children, it can alert you if one tries to escape.

 

Talk to Strangers — the Right Way

What should you do if the phone rings or someone comes to the door? Please prepare yourself for these contingencies.

 

Ensure that the children in your care know not to open the door. If a delivery person says they have a package that requires a signature, let them know the person responsible isn’t available — don’t say they aren’t home. Request they come back later. If they put up a fuss, that’s a clue they weren’t legitimate.

 

If a stranger calls, avoid telling them that the parents aren’t at home. Instead, repeat that they are unavailable and ask to take a message.

 

Exercise Caution in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a dangerous place for tiny tots. If you have to cook while you babysit, ensure you turn the pot handles toward the back so that little fingers can’t grab them. Keep small appliances unplugged when not in use, and don’t leave the cords dangling. Check that sharp objects, like knives, are well out of reach of toddler’s hands.

If the family has one, keep the child gate closed to prevent infants and toddlers from entering. Even innocuous-seeming objects like refrigerator magnets can pose choking hazards.

 

Know the Bathroom Rules 

Hopefully, you won’t have to give the kiddos you watch a bath. However, if you do, please don’t leave them unattended, even for a few seconds. It only takes a small amount of water to drown a child.

 

Review Your Checklist

Before the parents depart, please review the following checklist with them to ensure you have the information you need should an emergency occur.

 

● Whom do I call in an emergency? Parents should provide you with their child’s doctor’s phone number and a trusted nearby relative or neighbor’s you can contact for help if trouble arises.
● What do I do in a power outage? It’s downright spooky if the lights go out in a strange house, and you don’t know where the fuse box is. Make sure you know where to find flashlights and battery-operated lights.
● Do your children have any medical conditions or allergies? You need to know about peanut allergies and where to locate their child’s asthma inhaler.
● Do you have a first aid kit? Parents should show you where they keep supplies for treating minor cuts and scrapes, such as antibiotic ointment and bandages.

Prepare Yourself for Emergencies

You might not think of yourself as a professional if you’re only 16 — but you are. Show your dedication to your role and prepare yourself for any contingency by getting certified in first aid and CPR. These credentials will help you attract more clients and feel more comfortable on the job, knowing that you can handle the worst.

 

If you want to go the extra mile, consider signing up for a babysitting course. Many organizations, such as the American Red Cross, offer such certifications, and they can further accelerate your earning capacity while teaching you how to handle on-the-job emergencies.

 

Follow These 7 Safety Tips While Babysitting 

Watching another person’s children is the ultimate responsibility. Please follow these seven safety tips while babysitting.

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About The Author

Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded. He writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors, and more. Follow @TModded on Twitter for more articles from the Modded team.

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