What Every Parent Must Know About Babysitters!

By: Victoria Walker

Selecting a babysitter is an important decision that requires a great amount of caution. Here are 5 things you should consider when choosing a babysitter:

  1. Always check references! Never leave your children with anyone that you don't know. If you are hiring a babysitter, ask for references from your friends. Ask around to see who others have used and who they recommend. Once you find someone, you will want to ask for at least three character references. This should be three people, not related to the babysitter that knows the babysitter well and can verify that they are trustworthy, responsible and qualified to care for children.

  2. Make sure your babysitter knows CPR and first aid. An accident could happen at anytime, even if you are only away for a short time. Most reputable babysitters have made the effort to be certified in CPR or first aid and they have a CPR/First Aid card as verification. If the babysitter you have selected doesn't have CPR/First Aid training, insist that they obtain it before leaving them alone with your children. Most cities have places such as the YMCA and Red Cross that offer CPR/First Aid courses for free or for a small fee.

  3. Interview the babysitter! You should spend a good amount of time talking to and getting to know the babysitter. Ask what type of experience the babysitter has with children. If your child is an infant and the babysitter only has experience babysitting for older children, you want her to assure you that she is qualified to handle an infant. Ask a few hypothetical questions such as, 'What would you do if the 3-year-old fell and cut his arm?' The babysitter you choose should be able to give you a quick and positive answer.

  4. Ensure that the babysitter knows important information! Once you feel confident in the babysitter's abilities, you should give them a tour of your home so they will know where everything is located. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers and always make sure that they know where the list is posted. Be sure to show the babysitter where the first aid kit is located, you don't want her to waste time searching for it if it is needed.

  5. Allow the children to get familiarized with the sitter before leaving them alone! Even adults sometimes feel uneasy and nervous around people that we don't know. Children are no different. Being left alone with a stranger, even if it is in their own home can cause them to feel uncomfortable. Have the babysitter over when you are home so that the children will have a chance to get to know the sitter before they are left alone together.

Choosing the proper babysitter is an important decision. Taking the time to check references, abilities and getting to know the babysitter will only benefit you and your children. Remember, a safe child is a happy child.

© 2001, Victoria Walker All Rights Reserved

Victoria Walker is the author of the E-Book, Your Guide to Scrapbooking. She is also a Freelance Writer, Craft Designer, and President of WordWalker Publishing. For more information, visit her website at http://victoriawalker.com or email her at mailto:Victoria@victoriawalker.com

Article Comments: Leave Comment

Other Articles In: Parent Education