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Choosing and Using a Babysitter
By: www.4women.gov

Planning time away from your new baby means that you will need to find a trusted babysitter to care for your baby like you would. That may seem impossible, but knowing what qualities you need in a babysitter will help you to find the best person to take care of your child. The National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC) recommends taking the following steps to familiarize a new babysitter with you, your baby, and your home. Also, we have provided a Babysitter Checklist to remind you of the information the babysitter will need while caring for your child, such as numbers where you can be reached in an emergency.

Tips for Familiarizing a New Babysitter with Child Safety and Your Home
Safety/First Aid:

Ask if the babysitter knows infant/child CPR and Rescue Breathing.

Remind the babysitter that infants should not be placed on an adult bed of any kind.

Remind the babysitter to place the baby on her/his back to sleep.

Be sure that the babysitter knows the signs of illness in an infant including: changes in skin color, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Show the babysitter where the fire extinguishers are kept, and explain how they are used.

Be sure to show the babysitter where the first aid supplies are kept.

Remind the babysitter to keep all balloons or plastic items away from the baby.

Instruct the babysitter that children should never be unsupervised in the bathtub. He/she should take them with him/her if they must answer the telephone or the door bell.

Remind the babysitter to keep the bathroom door closed, and the toilet seat and lid down when not in use.

Familiarity with your House:

Before leaving, be sure to give the babysitter a tour of the house.

Ensure that all windows have been closed, and that the babysitter knows to keep them closed.

Show the babysitter how to operate your child safety gates, and indicate where they need to be kept.

Also show the babysitter where the flashlights are located.

Make sure that you have put away all sharp items including scissors, knives, and any other objects that can cause injury.

The following Web Sites have more information on first aid for babysitters:

American Red Cross Babysitter's Training Course

Baby Sitter's Handbook

Visit the National Safety Council Web Site for more information on Baby-proofing your home.

The information presented on this site is intended solely as a general educational aid, and is neither medical nor healthcare advice for any individual problem, nor a substitute for medical or other professional advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your unique circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical condition and before starting any new treatment.

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