Prepare Your Babysitter for Emergencies

Is Your Babysitter Prepared for Emergencies and Other Dangers?

Mom telling sitter the rules

It's always best to be cautious when it comes to babysitters, whether you're hiring someone new or enlisting the help of a seasoned sitter. Prepare your babysitter for emergency situations by disclosing this important information:

Your Children

  • Medical information: Write down your child's food or medication allergies and other health issues, and instruct the sitter on how to dispense medication.
  • Evening schedule: Children, especially younger ones, tend to be less fussy if babysitters follow the family's usual routine. Let the babysitter know approximate mealtimes, bedtimes and any other particulars about your child's schedule.

Your Home

  • Address and landline: Operators will ask for this information if the babysitter ever needs to contact emergency services. Along with the exact address, include the nearest cross streets or landmarks.
  • Safety supplies: Show the sitter where you keep the first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and flashlights. Also point out exits that could serve as emergency escape routes.
  • If you have a pool, ensure your babysitter can recognize the drowning signs.

Your Evening

  • Your location: Write down the names and phone numbers of the place(s) you will be throughout the evening.
  • Contact information: Give the babysitter your cellphone number and keep your phone on. Also leave the name and number of a relative or close friend as backup.

Important Information

  • Emergency numbers: Provide numbers for the fire and police departments, poison control center, the local hospital and your family doctor.
  • Expected calls or visitors: Let the sitter know if you're expecting someone. Otherwise, ask them not to answer the door or phone while you're away.
  • House rules: Make sure the babysitter knows what's off-limits, including food, drinks and television shows.