It’s been said that kids don’t come with an instruction manual. However, it’s a really good idea to write one when it comes to leaving your children in the care of a babysitter or relative. These days, so many kids suffer from food allergies, plus, many dangers present themselves in modern homes, and you are well advised to put together a checklist for the benefit of any person who is required to take charge of your children when you’re not home.
The more information you leave behind, the more your caregiver can refer to without having to track you down – not that you wouldn’t want to be consulted if there was a problem.
Use a well-bound note book, photo album or ring binder to store all your notes, and add to them as required or as more children are added to the family! A sticky note posted on the refrigerator door, with just your cell phone number, is a poor stand-in for more comprehensive notes that may come in handy in an emergency.
What to include in your babysitter information package:
– Names of all family members
– Address and telephone numbers including cell phone numbers
– Contact details of other family members such as grandparents
– Allergies suffered by the children, including food allergies
– Medications required while you are out, including incidental ones such as for asthma or teething
Where To Find:
– Spare house key
– Spare car keys
– First aid kit and medicines required
– Extra blankets
– Flash lights in the event of a power failure
When You Should Be Contacted
– If a child has developed an illness such as vomiting or fever
– If anyone is injured and more than a simple bandage is required
– If a child is inconsolable and the babysitter has tried unsuccessfully to remedy the situation
– Any time it seems there has been a breach of security in the home, such as phone calls where no one answers, suspicious visitors, etc.
Emergency Contact Numbers
– Poison Control Center
– Family doctor
– Rule number 1: Everybody out!
– Provide a map showing the most logical exits
– Detail locations of fire extinguisher/s and blanket/s
– Outline any other pertinent details
– Time limits for phone calls
– Bed times
– Appliances that are out of bounds such as heaters, electric blankets, food processors
– Television programs that are off limits
– Rooms that are out of bounds
– Foods that are allowed or not
Where We Will Be:
– Details of locations where you will be while out
– Phone numbers where you can be reached
– What time you expect to be home
– When you expect to call in to check on everyone
The above may seem like an exhaustive list but once you have prepared it, it’s ready to be used by any babysitter whether they are accustomed to your family and know you, or they are a first time caregiver in your home. It’s a small investment in your children’s safety and your peace of mind.