Safety with the Baby Sitter
Leaving clear, detailed instructions for your baby sitter is a good way to keep your child safe – and ease your mind – when you’re away. Our tips can help you enjoy a night out or a weekend away.
Coaching the baby sitter
Important phone numbers
- Post emergency numbers — including for the hospital, doctor and the Oregon Poison Center (800-222-1222) — by your home phone. You may want to ask regular sitters to put those numbers on their cellphones.
- Have the sitter put your cell number on her phone. Also post it near the home phone.
- Give the sitter the phone number of where you will be.
- Give the sitter a neighbor or relative’s phone number in case of emergency.
- Make sure the sitter knows your address and phone number.
- Tell your sitter where you’re going and how long you will be gone.
- Show your sitter where emergency numbers are posted.
- Show your sitter fire-escape routes, chain or rope ladders for upper-floor windows, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.
- Review the tips on this page with the sitter. You may want to print them out.
- Have a clear understanding with your sitter about:
- Use of the kitchen, TV, phone and computer
- Give new sitters time to get to know your child before you leave.
- Lock up before you leave.
- When you get back, ask the sitter about any calls, visitors, emergencies, accidents or unusual occurrences.
- Escort the sitter home at night.
What to tell the baby sitter
- Tell the sitter to call 911 right away if:
- She thinks an injury is severe.
- There’s a fire of any size.
- She suspects an intruder.
- In case of a fire, tell the sitter to get out with all children, then call 911 from her cellphone or a neighbor’s home.
- Show the sitter where first-aid supplies are.
What to teach your child
- Have your child tell the sitter about any accident, injury or strange person.
- Show your child how to call 911. Explain that he should call 911 only when an adult can’t do it.
- Teach your child her name, address and phone number.
- Write the emergency numbers, your address and home phone number next to the phone and show it to your child.
- Teach your child how to give this information when calling an emergency number:
- My name is:
- I live at:
- My phone number is:
- We have an emergency:
Medications and medical issues
- Write down the times and doses of your child’s medications. Show your sitter where the medications are.
- Tell the sitter about your child’s medical conditions. Explain how she should handle an asthma attack, epileptic seizure or other event.
Care and play safety
- Review safety for routine care such as baths, diaper changing or putting your baby down for a nap.
- Tell the sitter which play activities are allowed inside and outside.
- Tell the sitter what rooms, such as the attic or basement, are off-limits. Lock those doors.