CHOOSING JOBS WISELY
- Know your employer. Only accept jobs from people you already know, or for whom you have a reliable, personal reference. Accepting jobs from strangers is not as safe as babysitting for a neighbor’s friend.
- Make sure your parents know where you are babysitting. Leave them the name, address, and telephone number of the people you are sitting for, and let them know what time to expect you home.
- Find out what time the parents expect to be home. Let them know if you have a curfew. Ask them to call if they are running late.
IN AN EMERGENCY
- If there is a fire, get the child(ren) and yourself out!
- Go to a neighbor’s and call the fire department. If you can, call the parents and let them know where you and the child(ren) are and what is happening.
- Try not to panic during an emergency. It will not only hinder your ability to think clearly, but will frighten the child(ren).
- If you suspect that the child(ren) ingested poison, contact the Poison Control Center or the family physician.
- Be able to identify the suspected poison and the amount taken.
- Before the parents leave, ask for their emergency contact information and keep it near the phone.
- Ask the parents to show you the location of the emergency exits, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers.
- Make sure you have the telephone number of where the parents are going.
- If the house or apartment has an electronic security system, learn how to use it.
- Be sure you know how to work the door and window locks, especially if they need a key. Lock all doors and windows and leave an outside light on.
- Do not open the door to strangers. Don’t let anyone at the door or on the phone know you’re there alone. If asked, respond by saying that you are visiting, and the child(ren)’s parent cannot come to the phone or door, and that you’ll deliver a message.
- If you are babysitting during the day, you may take the child(ren) outside. If you are in the backyard, make sure that the front door is locked, and vice versa.
- If you plan on taking the child(ren) to a park or anywhere else, make sure you have a house key to lock and unlock the doors. Double-check doors and windows before you leave.
- When you get back to the child(ren)’s home, don’t go inside if anything seems unusual (broken window, door open, etc.) Go to a neighbor’s and call the police.
- If you ever feel uneasy or suspicious about something you see or hear, don’t hesitate to call the police.
GETTING HOME SAFELY
- Call home to let someone know you’re on your way.
- Be sure you have an escort home. This should be one of the conditions under which you accept any babysitting job.
- If your employer can’t walk or drive you home, or if he/she seems intoxicated, ask someone at your house to come and get you.
- Never go home alone at night from a job.