For any parent, the biggest worry when leaving a child with a babysitter is whether they’ll be safe and healthy. Here are a few ways you can ensure your little one will be okay in a sitter’s hands.
Choose Someone with First Aid Training
The first step to keeping your child safe while they’re with their babysitter is to ensure you choose the best sitter available. Most parents know that they should vet every potential sitter’s criminal history and past experience, but many forget about another important thing to check: first aid qualifications.
First aid is vital in an emergency. From administering CPR to the performing Heimlich manoeuvre, your babysitter needs to know how to address common childhood crises. When you’re interviewing potential sitters, make sure you ask them whether they have a first aid certificate.
If you do find the perfect sitter but they don’t have any qualifications in first aid, considering offering to pay for training. Most courses can be completed in just one day for a few hundred dollars, and there are even courses targeted specifically at child first aid. It’s a small investment to ensure your sitter can keep your child safe during an emergency, and most sitters will be all too happy to add a skill to their résumé.
Set Clear Rules
Once you have the right babysitter, you need to provide them with the ground rules to keep your child safe and healthy. Sometimes even the most experienced babysitters can unknowingly engage in behaviours or practices that could harm a child, simply because many parents don’t enforce clear rules.
For example, some parents have no problem with babysitters inviting friends over to keep them company. However, it’s important to remember that letting a stranger into your home is almost as dangerous as leaving your child with an unvetted sitter to begin with.
Plus, not only could the friend be a dangerous individual, socialising also distracts your sitter from looking after your child. If your child isn’t kept under a watchful eye, they could easily get into accidents.
Another good rule to enforce is not allowing your babysitter to give your child any new foods. For one, new foods can flag up allergies that a babysitter might not be equipped to deal with. On top of that, many babysitters don’t know just how many foods can present choking hazards.
Children under four, for example, can easily choke on seemingly harmless popcorn or carrot sticks. That’s why you should instruct your sitter to prevent your child from eating any meals, snacks, or takeout dishes that aren’t on an approved list you’ve put together.
Leave a House Doctor’s Number
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to leave your babysitter with the number for a family house call doctor. Even if your babysitter is trained in first aid, there are still many sudden illnesses they won’t be able to diagnose or treat.
Usually, if your child has non-emergency symptoms, you’d make a trip to the doctor’s office. However, this isn’t always practical or possible for babysitters. For one, many babysitting sessions take place in the evening when clinics are closed. On top of that, your clinic may require that you grant a sitter written permission before they can bring your child in for an appointment to begin with.
A house call doctor bridges the gap and ensures your child can get medical attention when they need it. All your sitter has to do is call the number, and a qualified and experienced doctor will be at the door before they know it.
For fully accredited, family-friendly home doctor services in Queensland, get in touch with Hello Home Doctor.