Before the sitting date, invite the sitter to your home to meet your child. The sitter and your child will have time to get to know one another and to feel comfortable together. You will have the opportunity to observe how the sitter interacts with your child.
Many hospitals and schools offer baby-sitting courses. If your sitter has not taken one, encourage him or her to enroll in a course, such as the Safe Sitter program. With planning, you will be able to relax, knowing your child is in the care of a reliable sitter.
Before you leave your
Child with a sitter:
* Review your child's bedtime routine with the sitter. Tell the sitter if your child has a snack before bedtime, a favorite book he likes to read, or a certain toy or blanket he sleeps with, and what time your child should go to bed.
* Inform the sitter about any food allergies or medications.
* Give the sitter a tour of the house. Show her where exits, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, the first-aid kit, flashlights, and extra blankets are located.
* Show the sitter which rooms your child may play in and point out any areas or items that are off-limits.
* Explain rules for the television, stereo, or telephone.
* Leave a number where you can be reached and the approximate time you will return.
* Have a list of emergency telephone numbers (emergency, fire, police, poison control center, doctor, hospital, and a neighbor or relative) by the telephone. Also write down your street address and telephone number.
* Review what should be done in the case of an emergency.
The Safe Sitter
The Safe Sitter program was founded in 1980 by Dr. Patricia A. Keener following the death of a colleague's young child while in the care of a baby sitter. The program was designed to teach young adolescents to be "medically responsible, creative, and attentive baby sitters."
Since its inception, more than 100,000 sitters have been trained. In 1995, sites in all fifty states were teaching the Safe Sitter program.
During the two-day program, students learn safety precautions, rescue breathing techniques, how to care for a choking infant or child, and how to call for help. Students also learn to feed and diaper an infant and learn what type of behaviors to expect from children in different age groups. To pass the course, prospective sitters must take a written and practical exam.
For more information on the Safe Sitter program or to learn how to set up a program in your community, write to: Safe Sitter National Headquarters, 1500 N. Ritter Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46219.
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|Title Annotation:||Parent's Guide; includes related information on the Safe Sitter Program and other tips|
|Publication:||Humpty Dumpty's Magazine|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1997|
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