- Take a babysitting course offered through the Red Cross or a local community education program.
- Have the homeowner’s name, address, and mobile phone number written down and kept near the house phone.
- Get written instructions about any medicines to be given to the children: how much and what time.
- Take a walk through the home and check for any special locks, windows that cannot be climbed out of, telephone locations and anything that might be a problem in case of an emergency.
- During the walk-through, check for hazards and things that the children can get into, such as matches, lighter fluid, electric cords, plastic bags, medication, or anything else that may be dangerous.
- If there is a pool, get detailed instructions from the parents regarding pool access. Generally it is best to have no one near the pool when the parents are away.
- If it is evening, turn on the porch/outside light.
- Do not have visitors while babysitting, stay focused on the children.
- Have a mental fire drill: that is, plan on more ways than one to get yourself and the children out of the house in case of fire.
- Be sure to find out if you are to give the children anything to eat or drink before bed.
- Make sure all the doors and windows are locked from the inside, and lock the front door after the parents leave.
- Do not open the door for anyone unless you personally know the person.
- Do not tell a caller that you are the babysitter and the resident is away, just take a message.
- Do not go outside to investigate suspicious noises or activity. Check the door locks, turn on outside lights, and call 9-1-1.
- If the children are asleep, check on them about every 15 minutes.
- If the children are up, know their location at all times and never leave them alone too long.
- If for any reason you must leave the house, Take The Children With You!
- Do not let your smartphone distract you from the children, they are YOUR responsibility.
- Never shake a baby or young child.
- Dial 9-1-1 and be prepared to provide the address.
- Remain calm and carefully describe the emergency.
- Follow the directions of the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
In Case Of Fire
- Sound the alarm -- yell FIRE as loud as possible.
- If possible, close the door to the area where the fire is.
- DO NOT attempt to extinguish the fire, focus on getting the children out.
- Get everyone out of the house, and do not go back in for any reason.
- Keep all the children together, and go to the approved neighbor’s home.
- Call 9-1-1 or ask a neighbor to call 9-1-1.