Babysitting is a great way for teenagers to earn extra money, but it is also an important responsibility.
The Salt Lake City Fire Department encourages all babysitters to be prepared to act if an emergency situation arises on their watch. One way to do that is to take a babysitter education course. There are several places in our community that offer babysitter education courses.
Basic CPR courses are also beneficial and can prepare babysitters for certain emergency situations.
Before parents leave, babysitters learn of any concerns so that the babysitter feels comfortable as the parents leave.
After the parents leave, immediately taking the following steps will help ensure a safe environment in the home:
- Walk through the house and look for hazards that would be dangerous for children, such as matches, lighter fluid, electric chords, plastic bags or medication
- Perform a mental fire drill to the best way to exit the home (You should always know two ways out of every room)
- Make sure all doors and windows are locked (and lock the door after parents leave)
There are several things babysitters should keep in mind throughout the duration of their stay, such as:
- When the kids are asleep, the babysitter should check on them every 15-30 minutes
- The babysitter should not open the door for anyone they don’t know
- In the event of an emergency, the babysitter should call 911, identify himself/herself by name, give the accurate address, tell the dispatcher they are babysitting and explain the situation
If the babysitter leaves the house for any reason, they should take children with them. In case of fire, the babysitter should close the door to the room where the fire is located, if possible, and take the children to a neighbor’s house and call 911.