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Parenting Tips

American Academy of Pediatrics

Babysitting Reminders

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IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

PARENTS ____________________ POLICE ____________________
NEIGHBOR(S) ____________________ POISON HELP LINE 1-800-222-1222
DOCTOR ____________________ OTHER EMERGENCY CONTACT ____________________
FIRE/RESCUE ____________________ HOME ADDRESS ____________________

PARENTS SHOULD

  • Meet the sitter and check references and training in advance.

  • Be certain the sitter has had first aid training and knows CPR.

  • Be sure the sitter is at least 13 years old and mature enough to handle common emergencies.

  • Have the sitter spend time with you before babysitting to meet the children and learn their routines.

  • Show the sitter around the house. Point out fire escape routes and potential problem areas. Instruct the sitter to leave the house right away in case of fire and to call the fire department from a neighbor’s house or mobile phone.

  • Discuss feeding, bathing, and sleeping arrangements for your children.

  • Tell your sitter of any allergies or specific needs your children have. Leave a note with your children’s dates of birth and approximate weights in case these are needed by medical professionals.

  • Have emergency supplies available, including a flashlight, first aid chart, and first aid supplies.

  • Tell the sitter where you will be and when you will return.

  • Be sure any guns are stored unloaded in a locked cabinet, and lock and store the ammunition in a separate place.

  • Provide and install appropriate car safety seats and booster seats if the sitter will need to drive the children in a car.

SITTERS SHOULD

  • Be prepared for an emergency.

  • Always call or text for help if there are any problems or questions.

  • Never open the door to strangers.

  • Never leave the children alone in the house—even for a minute.

  • Never give the children any medicine or food unless instructed to do so by the parents.

  • Be patient with a child who is unhappy or who cries when the parents leave. Try a different activity, read a book to the child, or suggest playing in the yard. If a baby is crying and cannot be soothed, it is OK to put the baby in a safe place, like a crib, and walk away for a few minutes.

The information contained in this publication should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

© 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics.

Additional Resources

HealthyChildren.org is the only parenting website backed by 66​,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults
KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years.

The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) is an academic research center whose mission is to educate and empower children and those who care for them to create and consume media in ways that optimize children’s health and development.
Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology
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