How to Handle a Sick Child While Babysitting
If you are a babysitter, taking care of a sick child is something that you have probably thought about. Taking care of a sick child can be frustrating and difficult. It's never easy taking care of a sick child. Stay calm, it's easy to panic in a situation like that. The situation can get awkward for you since there are things you may not be comfortable with. Read these tips and gain some knowledge. Then, if you are ever put into a situation like this, you will be prepared (or as prepared as you can be!)
Calling the Parents
As a babysitter, you obviously don't want to call the parents for any reason. You want to show them that you can handle what the job throws at you. This isn't true when the child is sick. If the child suddenly falls ill while the parents are out, especially if the child develops a fever, call them right away. They may come home and get angry because you didn't alert them. Taking care of the child may be your job, but their child is their life. They won't think you are a bad babysitter if you call them. In fact, they may be appreciative.
When you call them, you want to be as descriptive as possible. Take their temperature, tell the parents the child's symptoms, and ask if there is anything they want you to do. Let the parents know if you are comfortable babysitting their child when they are sick. It is okay to say that you aren't comfortable. Most of the time though, if their child is sick, they will come home.
Keeping the Child Comfortable
If the child has a fever, the most important thing to do is keep the fever down. Keep them in bed all wrapped up under blankets and put a damp cloth over their forehead. If advised, give them medicine. Do not give the child medicine unless you have received an okay from the parents.
Make sure the child is feeling safe. When a child is uncomfortable, especially when their parents aren't around, they probably won't feel safe. This is normal. I know when I'm sick all I want is for someone familiar to take care of me. Read to them or set up a movie for them. Above all, let them rest. If they are sick, they will need that rest.
Are you a 'germaphobe'?
Keeping Yourself Healthy
Above all else, you must keep yourself healthy while you are babysitting. Wash your hands often. Sometimes, you can't help but do some unmentionable things. Just be sure to be kind and warm to the child. Remember, they are probably in more pain and discomfort than you.
Exercise good hygiene and clean up any "mess" they might make immediately. If you have access to them, use gloves if you are afraid of the germs. For the next few days after, keep up on the Vitamin C intake as it will help fight off any sick bugs you may have acquired during your time with the sick child.
What if the child I'm babysitting has COVID?
Before you agree to babysit for a child who has COVID, you need to evaluate if you are willing to put yourself or your close peers at risk. Sometimes, babysitting a child who has COVID isn't an option. According to the CDC, if you are in contact with someone who has COVID, you should quarantine for 14 days starting the last day you had contact with them.
Make sure you stay away from people after you watch someone who had COVID until you are sure you don't have it. Getting a test done is suggested, but not all the tests are reliant and doctors may suggest you quarantine anyway.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Amanda Brumbelow