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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 cell phone number and keep your phone on. Also leave the name and number of a relative or close friend as backup.
- 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.