Important Information to Leave with a Babysitter
Ensuring your babysitter is well-informed about your household is key to keeping your preschooler safe when in the care of another person. It is a good idea to create an extensive list beforehand that you can leave with any sitter, so you don't forget to tell them something at the last minute as you rush out the door.
You should leave the following numbers, even those that seem obvious, in case your sitter needs to reach someone. Include both home and cell numbers for anyone who may not be home.
- The place (or places) where you are going to be. Include the address as well.
- Your cell phone, if you intend to have it with you
- Friends or relatives who live nearby
- Any relatives who don't live nearby, but who know the details of your family and could provide needed information in your absence
- Family doctor (including an after-hours call number, if available)
- Police department
- Nearest hospital
- Poison hotline
- Fire department
- Any other health hotline services available in your area
- 911 (yes, even this can be forgotten in a panic)
Where Things Are
- Any emergency supplies (blankets, flashlights, first aid kit)
- Spare house key
- Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
- Known house hazards. Any items or locations in your house that you know are risky for your preschooler (chemical cleaners, exposed electrical sockets or steep stairs)
- Alarm system controls (along with details on how to work the alarm, if it is to be activated in your absence)
- Your house. Have your street address and basic directions on the list, so that the babysitter can direct emergency services quickly.
Any/all medications that the children take (including dosages), whether or not the babysitter is going to be responsible for administering the medicine. All allergies, even those not medically relevant. Any health conditions or history
Other things that a babysitter should know, but aren't really about safety for your child.
- General house rules
- Allowed TV programs
- Allowed foods and snacks (for children and sitter)
- Bedtime routine
- Whether there are free-roaming pets in the house
- When you expect to be home
Keep the List Visible
In the event of an emergency, it's too likely that a sitter will forget that the list is in the third drawer left of the sink, under the phone book. Keep the list out in the open, like on the front of the refrigerator or inside the front door.