Whether it is your first job, or you are a seasoned "veteran" caring for young
children, babysitting is one of the biggest responsibilities you will ever have,
and something that must always be taken seriously.  Consider taking a
child/infant first aid training class.  Some employers will insist their babysitters
be CPR certified.

Getting the Job

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.

On the Job

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.

The same rules apply to daytime, as well as nighttime babysitting, with a few

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
Babysitting Safety
Digital Video Surveillance
Personal Protection Products
Insured & Licensed #B15441