|Know your employer. Babysit only for people you or your parents|
|know, or for whom you have a personal reference. Answering |
newspaper ads may not be safe.
|Be sure to find out from you employer what time they expect to be|
|back. Be sure that they know how much you charge, and if you have |
a curfew, especially if it is your first time babysitting for them.
|Leave with your parents the name, phone number, and address of|
|where you will be baby-sitting, and tell them what time your employer |
expects to return home.
|Consider taking a short nap before going to work so you will be alert|
|and wide awake on the job.|
|Before your employer leaves, write down the phone number and|
|address where they will be (cell phones numbers are crucial if |
available). Also, have written down the child(ren)'s doctor(s) phone
numbers as well as an emergency contact like a closeby neighbor.
Include any allergies or medications and any other special instructions
the employer gives you. Do this for every job you take. Keep the
form and keep a pencil and paper near the phone.
|Have the parents do a safety check with you throughout the house or|
|apartment. Find out where the emergency exits are, in case of fire, |
and find out if the house/apartment has a smoke alarm, fire
extinguisher, or both.
|Know how to work the door and window locks in the house or|
|apartment, and lock them if/when you are in the house; leave at least |
one outside light on at night.
|If the phone rings while you are babysitting, don't tell the caller that|
|you are alone. Say you are visiting, and the child's parents can't come |
to the phone right now, but you will give them a message. If anyone
persists or gets rude, hang up.
|Limit your telephone usage. The distraction creates opportunities for|
|children to find trouble.|
|Don't open the door to strangers, and don't tell anyone who comes to|
|the door that you are alone. Again, say that you are visiting, and will |
deliver the message.
|Do not invite friends over while you babysit. Parents expect top|
|priority in the care of their children.|
|Be sure to keep the volume of the TV or stereo turned down, so you|
|can hear any unusual noise, or hear a baby cry.|
|During the day you might have the children out in the yard. If in the|
|backyard, make sure the front door is locked.|
|If you take the children to the park, or anywhere else, make sure you|
|have the house key with you when you leave. Double check to make |
sure all doors are locked before you leave.
|It is also a good idea to have all the children go to the bathroom before|
|you leave, to avoid having to use the public restrooms.|
|When on walks with young children, always hold them by the hand.|
|Keep the child between you and the houses, not between you and the |
|When you are out with the children, do not talk to strangers, and if|
|you suspect you are being followed at any time, go to the nearest |
home, store, or gas station and call the police.
|When you get back to the child(ren)'s home, if anything seems|
|unusual--a broken window, a door ajar, a strange car parked in the |
driveway or outside--don't go in. Go to a neighbor and call the police.
In fact, if at any time when you are babysitting, if you are uneasy or
suspicious about something you see or hear, don't hesitate to call the
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