Babysitters – whether they’re grandparents, neighbors or teenagers – take your place while you’re not at home. It becomes their job to protect your child’s safety. Do not underestimate the importance of clear and detailed instructions. The following tips will help prepare your babysitter for potential problems.

Make sure your babysitter knows the emergency phone numbers in your area and how to reach you in case of an emergency. These suggestions will help prepare your babysitter if there’s a problem.

  • Post emergency phone numbers – including police, fire, ambulance service, hospital, physician and poison center numbers – near the phone. Tell the babysitter where the phone numbers are posted.
  • Always write down the phone number of the place where you will be, your cell phone number or pager number, and post it near the phone.
  • Always leave the phone number of a neighbor or relative to call in case of emergency.
  • Make sure the babysitter knows your street address and phone number for identification purposes.
  • Before you leave the house, take some time to review the tips below:
  1. Tell your sitter where you’re going and how long you will be gone.
  2. Review our Babysitter’s Guide with your sitter and keep it next to telephone.
  3. Review the House Rules with your sitter.
  4. Show your sitter emergency fire escape routes and emergency information/contacts (link).
  5. Have a clear understanding with your sitter about their fee, use of kitchen, television, phone and computer, rules about guests, etc.
  6. If your sitter is new, allow time for them to get acquainted with your child before you leave.
  7. Give your sitter feeding, bathing, and bedtime instructions as well as information about any care and play restrictions (link), and medications or medical conditions (link).
  8. Lock up before you leave.
  9. On your return home, ask the sitter about any phone calls, visitors, emergencies, accidents or unusual occurrences.
  10. Always escort the sitter home at night.