Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guide For Babysitters

babysitter guide When I saw this guide for babysitters I got nervous, I would rather just not think about emergency situations arising, otherwise it will just be stressful. By new mothers when they give me emergency contact information, I start getting nervous, and start imagining different scenarios that might happen. So I naturally didn’t like reading this. But I decided to go through each point and see if I am doing things right.

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.

So far by all the families I babysit, only one has all this information ready. She has a index card with the contact information, and she puts it on the counter when I come. Then she also puts down the invitation with the address of where they will be, and any other relevant information to their night out. It’s part of a routine already, I know she puts it on the counter, but I never look at it, I just know it’s there. One other mother has on the refrigerator a list of numbers and stuff, but I think that’s more for herself, like her little phone book.

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 streets (be sure to specify north, south, Avenue, Street, etc.) Give the phone number you are calling from.

This one really makes me nervous, to think of an emergency happening. So far I haven’t encountered any emergencies B”H. But I think this is pretty much common sense, and in case you don’t have common sense at such a time, then I’m sure 911 with ask you these questions so you will know what to say. But I guess this is why its important to have the contact information written down so that you will know the address of the house.

Get written instructions about any medicines to be given to the children including how much and what time to give.

So far I didn’t have to give any medications to the kids I babysit, but if I did then I’m sure the parents would tell me what to give and how much, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Having visitors while babysitting is a bad policy. Always get approval if you would like to have a visitor.

This makes sense, I never had anybody come over while I was babysitting. Although one time I had a sibling come over to drop off something that I had left at home. I would say its also important for the mother to let the babysitter know if any visitors are expected. One time when I was babysitting I heard someone at the door, I asked who it was and they said it was the cleaners. Now the parents hadn’t told me that they were expecting the cleaners to come. So I didn’t know if I should believe the man, and there was no peep whole to look through to see if he was carrying clothes. Or there was a peep hole and I just couldn’t see through it. So I started imaging that the person was lying and I said I can’t open up. So then the delivery man of the cleaners offered to just put the stuff by the door and that I can take it when he goes away. So I let him do that. But I was still to afraid to open the door after, so when the parents came home they saw the shirts hanging on the doorknob so they brought it in.

Find out who you should call in case of an emergency. Be sure to get their phone number.

So that comes under the contact information part. No one ever gives that to me. I guess I should start asking. I always assume I should call the parents in case of an emergency, and I have their numbers saved in my phone.

Take a walk through the house and check for any special locks, windows that cannot be climbed out of, other telephones and anything that would be a problem in case of an emergency.

I never do that. Sounds like its from some sort of mystery movie. I would assume if the family is living there the whole time, then the parents will make sure everything is ok.

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.

Again, I would think the parent would take care of this. Plus if I’m watching the kid I would notice what they can get into and I would stop them, so no need to really do a check beforehand.

Have a mental fire drill; plan on more ways than one to get yourself and the children out of the house in case of fire.

Now this one just spooks me out. I don’t want to imagine there being a fire.

Be sure to find out if you are to give the children anything to eat or drink before bed.

I Don’t see why this is so important. But the parents do usually tell me if they want me to give their kids something to eat or drink before bed. One mother usually leaves candy for me on the table, so if the kids are still up then she will tell me that the kids can each have one candy. Then she also prepares water bottles for them, so she tells me that each kid brings a water bottle up to their bed when they go to sleep.

Make sure all the doors and windows are locked from the inside, and lock the front door after the parents leave.

I never check the windows, although I did learn it is important to find out if they have an alarm on the windows or doors. The parents usually lock the doors when they leave so I usually don’t have to do that. Recently I went babysitting by a two family house. The mother suggested I take the baby out to the park cause it was a nice day. She gave me the combination to the main door to get into the building. She said she will keep the house door open so that I can come back in. But of course out of habit she forgot to keep it unlocked, and had locked the combination. So after taking the baby to the park, I came back, opened the main door, and when I came to the house door, I found it locked. I thought perhaps it was a jammed door so I tried pushing it. But I could tell it was locked. So I was thinking to myself if I should just go out more with the kid, or call the parent and ask for the combination. I realized I don’t have the mothers cell number, but I had the fathers. So I called him, told him what happened and asked for the combination. He said he doesn’t remember the combination, but he can come over and open it for me. Seems like he only can open it by seeing the combination and choosing the letters/numbers, but he can’t recall what it is without doing it. So good thing that he works a few blocks away, a half hour later he came and opened the door for me. 

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 life.
-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 neighbor’s home.
-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 to.

Now that is the part that I really don’t like reading about!
Here is where ignorance is Bliss!


  1. I'm just as paranoid about reading such guides!!

    I've read a few. Make me so paranoid. lol.

    When I babysat and the parents would give me more contact info, I'd always be like "WOW, I wouldn't even know who to call first" Or "Do they expect something really bad to happen that i'd need all these numbers?"

    In 10 months I babysat the one kid, I never used any numbers. I hope I wont need to with the random other people I occassionaly go to.

  2. FrumSkeptic: ahh so I'm not the only one! :-)

  3. I think we parents are just as freaked out as you are, which is why only one really gives you the contact numbers! But I think this is something we all have to improve on!
    About the house being safe (cleaning fluids' etc., this really is the parents' responsibility.

  4. It may be uncomfortable to think about crises, but practically, it is necessary. You need to be as prepared as possible if something does go wrong; this is basic responsibility.
    Kudos for reading the guide and learning ways to handle emergencies!

    Personally, I babysat for about 5 years when I was a teenager, and emergencies cropped up very rarely. So don't worry so much. It's not like thinking about the emergency will actually cause it. If anything, it can only help you.

  5. "Be sure to find out if you are to give the children anything to eat or drink before bed. I Don’t see why this is so important."

    a) to make sure the kids don't con you into giving them junkfood the parents might not want them eating. (predicted answer: the kids you watch are perfect and would never do that :) )

    b) you won't be there in the morning to clean the bed after the peed out what you gave them to drink

    "Having visitors while babysitting is a bad policy. Always get approval if you would like to have a visitor."

    i would be really pissed if i'm paying someone to watch my kids and they invite a stranger over.

    "So far by all the families I babysit, only one has all this information ready."

    we have all this information prepared, except for a medical release. but we do have a medical history.

  6. Margo: I know, you are right.

    Yea, so that's what I was always worried about, that if I think up something then it will happen. So I would try not to think about it.

    Lion Of Zion: a) good point! lol, I've had some trouble makers, but then if you say "are you telling the emes?" then they will usually answer truthfully if they were lying or not. There are ways to tell from their faces too. :-)

    b)right, which is why I find it strange that one mother sends her kids up with water bottles. Usually all mothers tell me to make sure the kids go to the bathroom before bed, so it wouldn't make sense to let them have a water bottle after the bathroom. (btw, one of the kids I've babysat actually has a huge Winnie the pooh that he uses to "go" on.)

    Yea, its common decency.

    that's good you have the information prepared.

  7. Dude, you've been to our house, was there one thing from this list actually done?
    Yep, we're bad parents. But the hazardous condition made our kid smarter cause he needs to think quickly to survive. ;-)

  8. Moshe: It might make him faster, but not necessarily smarter. But so far he seems to be a great smart kid!

  9. See, it works. That's why Chinese are so smart, they live 10 to a room. It's either get smart fast or get squashed.

    There's a subliminal message in the current CAPTCHA. vtvtcnn, tv tv cnn, watch cnn for twice the tv.

  10. Moshe: Interesting, never thought of it that way. You could also look at it, that the Chinese live with all their family members so they gain all the wisdom from each one.

    I have no clue what you said in that last sentence.

  11. CAPTCHA is the word verification you gotta enter each time you comment.

  12. Moshe: ahh I see, that is really cool. I never thought of analyzing those. Although I have come up with things based on license plates.

  13. CHINESE, SMART?!?!

    They may be awesome at spit back, but those dumbies can't think logically if logic smacked them in the face!


    I hate CHINESE PEOPLE!!!!!!!

  14. FrumSkeptic: lol. I wouldn't really know. They seem really smart to me, perhaps it's because my major involves spit back? but there's also analyzing and applying concepts, and they seem great at that too. Plus they seem to work in every profession imaginable, cleaners, nail saloon's, restaurants, and lots of others.

  15. people who do nails and work at restuarants are smart to you?

    I mean they CAN be, but generally, a lil take out chinesse shop on a corner block isn't exactly screaming smarts.

    How many chinese physists do you know? Major corporations invest in china for cheap labor, not smart labor.

  16. FrumSkeptic: you're right those jobs don't imply smartness. Perhaps it shows talent. or Usefulness.

    I know some Chinese physics. Don't know any personally, but I know they're out there.

  17. yea..there are a few smart chinese, and ones that are physicists. But I'm convinced thats because somewhere down the line they had caucasion blood in them. But as the whole "they're smart" thing is totally hyped up.

    Mostly they get beat up if they don't do well in math, so they memorize formula's, spit them back, and thats that. They have no diea what they're doing. THey are the typical rote/robot learners. Spit back is all they konw how to do.

    I asked one chinese girl in JHS to help me out with something, she had no idea waht she was doing. Then another time she asked me for help, I realized she didn't understand the standard method, so I tried to explain it differently, she was like "but thats not how you do it"

    So I was like "math is math, its a logic, theres more than one way to do the formula"

    She was like "WHAT?"

    Yea...then there are tonz of other examples I can get into. But why turn this post into an anti- Chinese one? If we wanted to do that, we coulda gotten my sister to just write one. :). You've never met a bigger anti-chinese bigot than my sister.

  18. lol, ok I believe you and understand what your saying. I have no personal interest or bias, so I'm ok with excepting what you say.

  19. The racism here is sickening.

    Chinese people are no smarter or dumber than any other ethnic group. You may have met some stupid Chinese people, but their race is not the reason for their stupidity. I have met many stupid Jews. I cannot conclude from this that Jews are stupid. One does not follow the other.

    babysitter: This is the same fallacious logic that I employed in my post about sugar. Just because two things coincide does not imply causation, or even correlation.

    The idea that Chinese people are stupid is so idiotic that it would be funny, but it is not. It is pathetic. I am not okay with this lunacy.

  20. babysitter- Just told my sister someone said chinese people were smart, she was like "WHYD YOU TELL ME!? DON"T YOU CARE THAT I NEED TO GO TO BED!"

    lol. :)

    if you were to ever bump into her, you'd never in your life guess she were so anti anyone. She looks like the type that would never even hurt a fly...but in reality, she'd hurt a chinese person before a fly. lol

  21. "Be sure to find out if you are to give the children anything to eat or drink before bed."

    i was babysitting once and the kids asked for cereal and milk which i gave them. as they were eating, the eight year old told me that his little brother was allowed to have milk in his bottle, "even though we had chicken for supper cuz he's little"

    yup, they'd had chicken for dinner.and now they were eating milk...

    as for having friends over, i never asked a new job, but the regulars i 'sat for didn't care.

    asking about kids' allergies, emergency contact info, etc. gains points with the mom, which can usually earn you a good reccomendation

  22. Margo: "I have met many stupid Jews. I cannot conclude from this that Jews are stupid"

    I am glad you said that.

    Your right that they might not be correlated.

    FrumSkeptic: lol, wow I wonder what turned her off against Chinese people, she can write a guest post about it on your blog.

    FrumCollegeGirl: Interesting, I didn't think of the milk and meat issue. That is a good point.

    Yea, I try to ask questions I can think of just to make sure I have everything covered.

  23. Well, my older daughter had to have her bottle of milk when she went to sleep. It was her security thing. Sometimes she'd wake up in the middle of the night and feel for it. If she couldn't find it, she'd cry. If she found it, she'd go back to sleep. It lasted until she was four. Than we had a whole ceremony of being big and throwing out bottles (like on Mr. Mom) and she never asked for another bottle again.

  24. Bwahaha. Especially since I know who you're talking about...
    Shlomik drank milk until maybe 1 and a half, if not less. Then one day he gave the milk back and asked for juice. Haven't drank milk from a bottle since then, only w cereal.

  25. Mlevin: that makes sense, I've seen kids like that. Although I've seen them attached to their pacifiers till 4. Perhaps bottles too. But a belated congrats to her for getting over it ;-)

    Moshe: I also know :-p
    But isn't milk healthier than juice?

    I haven't drank milk since I was a little kid and now my grandmother doesn't stop giving me speeches on how important milk is.

  26. Ya, I'm not too impressed with the racism either.

  27. Oy v'avoy, please, I think that discussion was overblown. Look up statistics, if you want, btw. Don't quote personal stories. :)


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