Babysitting may be the perfect job for you. It can it teach you about having a job and managing money. It can also help you learn a lot about children, families, and safety. There are certain things that will be expected of you as a sitter, though. And there are also things that you should expect from parents. Before you begin watching children, you should be clear about safety guidelines.
As a babysitter, you are responsible for keeping children safe. You need to:
To prevent accidents, keep children away from potential hazards such as:
Stairs can be dangerous for children. Here are some tips to prevent accidents on the stairs:
Do not bathe the baby. In most cases, you can clean the baby’s skin with a clean facecloth in lukewarm water. Bathing a baby calls for extreme care and supervision. Aside from the risk of hot water scalds, there is always the danger of drowning. You may want to be of help to the parents, but bathing an infant is not advised.
Infants and young children can choke on any small items they put in their mouths. Here are some tips to prevent choking:
Loose, baggy clothing can be dangerous if it gets caught on furniture, cribs, or playpens as children climb and play. Clothing can also be a problem if it becomes tightly wound around the baby. Be alert for hazards such as these and adjust clothing so that it cannot become tangled.
If the child becomes ill or has an accident, do not try to be a doctor or nurse (except for minor cuts and bruises). You should do the following:
Safe Kids Worldwide
US Consumer Product Safety Commission
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children
Canada Safety Council
Baby safety basics. Safe Kids USA website. Available at: http://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/Baby%20Safety%20Basics%202012%20Revised.pdf. Accessed May 15, 2014.
Babysitter safety guidelines. Virginia Tech Hokie Wellness website. Available at: http://www.hokiewellness.hr.vt.edu/HomeLife/ChildCareEducationampFamilyServices/ChoosingChildCare/BabysitterSafetyGuidlines.aspx. Accessed May 15, 2014.
4/2/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Saki N, Nikakhlagh S, Rahim F, Abshirini H. Foreign body aspirations in infancy: a 20-year experience. Int J Med Sci. 2009;6(6):322-328.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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