What Your Babysitter Needs to Know

Before you walk out the door, prepare the sitter with the following information:

· Make sure the sitter knows where you will be and how to reach you at all times.
· Point out where the sitter can find the number for poison control (it should be posted in a prominent location).
· Make sure the sitter knows what to do in an emergency. Provide an emergency phone list that includes neighbors, friends, relatives and your child’s doctor. Write your home phone number and address on the list, so in case of an emergency, the sitter can provide that information to the police or paramedics.
· Show the babysitter where emergency exits, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers are located. Demonstrate how to enable and disable security systems and alarms.
· Let the sitter know of any special problems your child may have, such as an allergy to bee stings, certain foods, or household products, or the need for medication at a specific time (the directions for which should be clearly explained and written down). Show the sitter where first-aid items are kept. Teach your child the meaning of 911 and how to call for help, so that if something happens to your babysitter, your child knows what to do.
· Let your babysitter know your child care expectations before you leave your home. If you would prefer that the sitter not leave the house with your child, make that clear. If the phone and visitors are off limits, don’t hesitate to discuss the restrictions with the sitter.