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!