By John M. Carpino
-Make sure you know your babysitter, check out references first!
-Leave instructions for babysitter and your destination w/a telephone number.
-Make sure babysitter can reach you in the event of an emergency (pager /cell #),
while you are en route to or from your destination.
-If your local police dept. is equipped with 911 make sure babysitter knows it.
-Instruct babysitter to call police if she/he suspects something out of order.
-If for whatever reason a stranger knocks at the door, instruct sitter not to open.
-If smoke/fire is present call the fire dept. immediately, do not fight the fire.
-Have an emergency plan for escape in the event of an emergency.
-Use a code word with babysitter if for some reason you need a party to visit
your residence. The visitor and babysitter will know one another by code word.
-If a medical emergency occurs (choking, burn, cut, etc.,etc.) let babysitter
know it is OK to call for emergency assistance, 911 if available.
-Direct babysitter not to allow her/his friends to enter residence for any reason
while you are away.
-Don't allow babysitter to use stove/oven or barbecue.
-Don't permit babysitter to take kids in a motor vehicle for any reason, unless
for an emergency. Never allow babysitter to have a friend take everyone one out
for ice cream,unless you are prepared to visit an emergency room after a crash.
-Don't assume anything with babysitter, lay down ground rules up front.
-If you have a security system make sure babysitter is aware of the operation w/
proper alarm code.
-Make sure babysitter keeps windows and doors secured at all times.
-If you have a swimming pool make it off limits while you are away.
-Do not allow the babysitter to bathe children of any age for any reason.
-Use family first, friends second, and strangers NEVER !
-Ask the kids afterwards to rate the babysitter and discuss her/his performance.
-If you are using a professional service, check for valid license, Better Business
Bureau for any/all complaints, State Attorney General(Consumer Fraud), Office
of Professional Regulation, and/or law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.
In Illinois convicted Child Sex Offenders must register with law enforcement
agency in the community in which they reside. Some cities and counties have the
information available on the www.
See our At-A-Glance
page for further information.
SafetyCops say DO your
homework first, don't wait until the damage is done.