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5 Things You Must Tell Your Babysitter

For parents with young ones, the summer months bring about the need for a babysitter. The calendar is full of events, and not every summer outing is right for the kids. There are a few things you can tell your babysitter to ensure your kid’s safety and your peace of mind at the same time. Check them off each time you go out with this babysitter checklist — and don’t forget our helpful babysitter form!

1. Current Contact Numbers

In the age of smartphones, phone numbers change occasionally. Double check to make sure your emergency contact list is up to date, including your current mobile phone number. While you are at it, check all the other numbers on the list as well.

  • Call your medical provider to make sure the number is up to date. If you have pets, give the vet a call as well.
  • You should list at least two or three “backup” emergency contacts to call in case the sitter can’t reach you and be sure to update those numbers as needed. Don’t assume your brother’s number is still the same, for example, or that your neighbors haven’t changed their numbers.
  • If you list any other local number like the pharmacy, be sure to list the hours they are open to avoid any confusion.

It is not enough to just read the numbers and verify them from memory. Give them a call using the list as a guide. This protects you from accidentally transposing numbers or other inadvertent errors.

2. Current Medical Information

Keep a file on medical info that the sitter might need in an emergency. Include a list of medications your child takes, any chronic illnesses (such as diabetes) and what insurance provider you use. Make sure to highlight any known allergies, too. If your child has severe allergies, like a reaction to nuts or shellfish, talk to the sitter about them and write it down. And if needed, be sure to keep an EpiPen easily accessible in case of exposure!

3. Where to Find Emergency Supplies

It is easy to overlook things like a first aid kit or a fire extinguisher when you are in a panic. Take the time to point these things out to your sitter and write them down. You can include instructions in a folder marked “What to Do in an Emergency.”

4. List Restrictions

Consistency is important for kids. If you limit your child’s use of the computer, then provide that information to the sitter. You can write down a list of restrictions, such as “no snacking after 7:30,” and pin it up in an obvious place.

5. Schedules

This can include both an itinerary for your evening, when you will be at the restaurant for dinner, what time the movie starts, as well as your child’s routine. Making a schedule for the evening provides your babysitter with a list of expectations, too. If you list bath at 6:30 p.m., the babysitter automatically knows a bath is in the works before putting a child to bed.

It is not easy to leave a child in someone’s care, but following a set pattern can help. A little planning means both you and the babysitter have everything you need for a great evening. Now, go out and have fun!

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