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Baby-sitter basics.

There comes a time when every parent needs to hire a baby sitter. Leaving your child with a sitter can be difficult. To make the situation easier for everyone, talk with the prospective sitter before hiring him or her. Even if the sitter was recommended by friends or family, you will want to determine if the sitter is experienced, reliable, and, in the case of an adolescent sitter, mature enough to handle the responsibility of caring for your child.

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

Program

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.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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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
Words:515
Previous Article:Tips on giving medicine correctly.
Next Article:Just me and my mom.
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