Most babysitting jobs go smoothly and the worst thing that happens is a fight over the PlayStation remote or last piece of pizza. However, in the rare occasion an emergency does happen, babysitters need to be ready to handle it. When your kids are in trouble and you're out of the house, your babysitter needs to know what to do.
Make sure your babysitter is prepared
Let your babysitter know its ok to call 911 if they think it’s an emergency or even if they’re not sure. The younger they are, the more intimidated they’ll likely be. Make sure they know you expect action and overreacting is better than under-reacting. Help your babysitter know when to call 911.
The following list of information should always be left with a babysitter:
- Parents’ phone numbers
- Neighbors’ phone numbers
- The child’s doctor’s name and phone number
- The child’s medical information, including any allergies.
- Fire/Rescue/Police phone numbers
- Poison Center Hotline: (800) 222-1222
- Home phone
- Home address
- Fire escape plan
Does your babysitter know CPR?
A babysitter needs to be ready for an emergency. . Be certain the sitter has had first aid training and knows CPR. You want your babysitter to know what to do and not to be afraid to do it. Make sure there's a quick reference for child CPR available, but keep in mind it's not a substitute for proper training.
What to tell the paramedics
The babysitter will be the only person available to communicate with first responders. It's important that they have the kids' important medical information. Write it all down and keep it in a convenient location for them to give to the paramedics.
In case of a fire
Every family should have a fire escape plan with more than one exit from the home, as well as a designated meeting place outside the house or apartment building. Be sure your babysitter and your kids know them. Your babysitter’s first priority should be to get everyone to safety, then call for help.
Tips for babysitters
The best way to handle any emergency is to remain calm and follow these directions;
Take a deep breath: If you panic you will not be able to think or act clearly. Take a deep breath and remain calm. The child will pick up on your nervousness and fear and that can cause them more harm or stress. Breathe slowly and proceed.
Look, assess then act: An emergency has happened, the first thing you need to do quickly is look. Whether the child is hurt or a situation has come up, look at the child closely and inspect your surroundings. Remove any harmful objects and make way for a safe environment. Do this as quickly as you safely can. It could be as simple as moving a sharp object away from a fallen child.
Listen and remain calm: Ask the child questions that will help you assess their needs and the level of emergency. For example, “where does it hurt” or “how did this happen” can help you determine the severity of the incident. Remain calm and positive, the child will feed off your attitude. Soothe them and assure them they will be fine.
Know when to call for help: Figure out what you need. For example; a first aid kit, a doctor or police officer. If in doubt, always call. If it is an extreme emergency call the police before the parents. You want to get help as soon as possible and calling a parent beforehand can prevent the immediate attention. Once you have done so, call the parent. Remember to stay calm.
Follow instructions: Once you have called the parents, doctor or police, listen and follow their instructions exactly. Don’t be afraid to ask for further instructions and always listen to the professional advice over the parent’s advice.
There are several babysitter and child care training courses available across the state. Here are a few resources to look into;