When you baby-sit you are taking on the responsibilities of the parents. The child's health and safety is in your hands. In order to help you in this important responsibility we have prepared the following guidelines for you and also prepared a form, which you can print out and take with you when you baby-sit.
Information You Need:
1. Family Name
2. Children's Names (Be aware that the Last Name may be different from parents.)
3. Full Address (House Number, Street, City)
4. Nearest cross streets (This will help emergency personnel locate you quickly.)
5. Contact Information for the Parents (Where they will be and how you can reach them.)
6. Find out if child is taking any long-term medication. If so, find out where it is kept. (This information should be given to EMS personnel during medical emergencies.)
7. Doctor's Number.
8. Poison Control Center Phone Number (1-800-222-1222).
9. Contact information of close relative or neighbor in case parents cannot be reached.
Things you should do BEFORE the parents leave:
Familiarize yourself with the house. Find out where exit doors are and check on how they are opened (In or Out, is there a lock or bolt that has to be opened, etc). Check windows, are there fire escapes, are they close to the ground, can they be opened. Is there anything that could prevent you from getting out in an emergency? Then make a mental escape plan with 2 ways out for you and the children in case of fire. Find out where the phone is. Is there more than one; if so where are they? Make sure all the doors and windows are locked. Write down any special instructions the parents give you.
Things you should do AFTER the parents leave:
Lock the door the parents leave by.
If it’s nighttime turn on outside lights if they exist. Make sure that enough interior lights are on for you to move through the house easily.
Make sure you know where the children are at ALL TIMES.
If they are asleep, check on them regularly.
If they are up, do not leave them alone for longer than absolutely necessary.
Make yourself aware of any hazards to the children such as staircases, plastic bags, household cleaners and plants. Keep the children away from them and if necessary move the hazard to a safer location.
What NOT to Do:
Never open the door for a stranger. If someone tells you they know the parents and insists on being let in, keep the door locked and call 911 for the Police.
Never leave the house without the Children.
What to do in a Emergency:
Tell them who you are and that you’re baby-sitting.
Tell them the problem.
Give the FULL ADDRESS with the Cross Street and PHONE NUMBER your calling from.
Give them the family’s name.
Don’t hang Up the phone let the 911 operators hang up first.
If there is a Fire:
Remain calm, use your escape plan.
Close the door to the area where the fire is, if possible.
Get the children out of the house. Make sure they don’t go back in.
Take the children to a Neighbors House and call 911.
Go back outside and wait for the Fire Department. Tell them where the fire is.
By using these guidelines and printing the take-along form you will be demonstrating to the family that you accept your responsibility as a baby-sitter seriously and that their trust in you is well placed.