Children & Adolescents Clinic

 Home Parent's Guide

Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Baby Sitter Guidelines

Your baby sitter becomes a "surrogate parent" during your absence. He or she should be selected with care and prepared with explicit instructions. Before you entrust your most precious possession(s) to the care of a sitter, go over the following:

  • Where you will be, how you can be reached, and when you will return.
  • Important phone numbers: police, fire, poison control center, hospital, children's physician, ambulance. Post near the phone.
  • The name and number of a nearby friend, neighbor, or relative.
  • Rules about friends, T.V., stereo, telephone, outdoor play, snacks, sleeping. (Applies to child and sitter.)
  • Warnings about not opening the door to strangers and hanging up immediately on crank callers.
  • Proper response to callers.
  • The location of first aid supplies, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, toys, clothing, snacks, and other items.
  • Special instructions about such things as child's fears, bedtime routine, or family pets.
  • Potential hazards like stairways, appliances, open doors or windows, purses or overnight cases.
  • Rough or otherwise dangerous play is not to be tolerated.
  • Young children should never be left unattended even while in a high chair, walker, or stroller.
  • If absolutely necessary, leave explicit directions regarding medication or bathing procedures. (These activities require utmost care and should not be expected of sitters.)

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems