Babysitting Guide and Safety Tips
When you babysit, you are entrusted with a child's life. Your primary
responsibility is to care for the children's needs and most of all: keep
them safe. You can prepare yourself for this important trust by following
- Have the following information written down and readily accessible
in the event of an emergency: Family name, children's names, house address
with nearest cross street, instructions on how to contact the parents,
phone number(s) of close relatives and neighbors, doctor's name and phone
number along with a medical release. Include the phone number of the national poison
control center which is 800-222-1222. Click here for a
blank emergency contact form.
- In the event of an emergency: Call 911:
identify yourself by name, tell them you are babysitting and state
the problem. State the address of the house where you are and the nearest
cross street. (Be sure to specify north, South, Avenue, Street, etc.) Give
the phone number you are calling from.
- Get written instructions about any medicines to be given to the children
-- how much and what time.
- Having visitors while babysitting is a bad policy. Always get approval
if you would like to have a visitor.
- Find out who you should call in case of an emergency. Be sure to get their phone number.
- Be sure to meet the family dog.
- Take a walk through the house and check for any special locks, windows
that cannot be climbed out of, other telephones and anything all that would
be a problem in case of an emergency.
- During the walk through, check for hazards and things that the children
can get into, such as matches, lighter fluid, electric cords, plastic bags,
medication, or anything else that may be dangerous.
- Look to see if there is a pool. Check for doggie doors and any unlocked doors or windows
leading to that area.
- Have a mental fire drill: that is, plan on more ways than one to get
yourself and the children out of the house in case of fire.
- Be sure to find out if you are to give the children anything to eat
or drink before bed.
- Make sure all the doors and windows are locked from the inside, and
lock the front door after the parents leave.
WHAT TO DO AFTER THE PARENTS LEAVE
- If it is evening, turn on the porch/outside light.
- If the children are asleep, check on them about every 15 minutes.
- If the children are up, know their location at all times and never
leave them alone too long.
- If for any reason you must leave the house, TAKE THE CHILDREN WITH
- DO NOT open the door for anyone unless you personally know the person.
- If someone insists on coming in and you do not recognize them, or if
you suspect a prowler, CALL THE POLICE AT 911.
IN CASE OF FIRE
- Sound the alarm -- yell FIRE as loud as possible.
- If possible, close the door to the area where the fire is.
- DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire, but rather attempt to save a
- Get everyone out of the house, and do not go back in for any reason.
- Keep all the children together, and go to the approved neighbors's
- Call the Fire Department at 911 and leave the children with the neighbors,
then go back outside to direct the fire fighters to the fire if you need
A well-prepared babysitter will be highly respected and greatly appreciated
by parents. Any sitter who takes these recommendations to heart will be
in great demand.
Guide for Babysitters (51 KB pdf)
Babysitters Emergency Contact Form (40KB pdf)