Babysitter Instructions II

When parents leave their child with a babysitter, is important to leave detailed babysitter instructions for unexpected situations. The three most important things a baby sitter needs to know in an emergency situation are:

    • What to do
    • What not to do
    • How to respond in an emergency

It is best to both talk through these items and to leave written babysitter instructions in an obvious location, perhaps near a telephone. It’s often a good idea to have a separate sheet of Emergency Information for a Sitter—if you are just out for a few hours in the evening, there will be a lot of information on your regular Emergency Information sheet that the sitter will not need, and you can save time by just telling the sitter what the sitter needs to know. This article covers babysitter instructions fo emergency situations.

Emergency Instructions

Emergency instructions should have three sections:

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  • Emergency Numbers
  • Your Contact Information (and any other parent/guardian contacts)
  • Other Vital Information

• Emergency Numbers

  • 911
    In some places, this number covers police, fire, and ambulance: if you have separate numbers for any of these services, list them as well. Along with this, list the home address (the physical address) and clear instructions for reaching the household, should emergency workers need directions.

  • Poison Control 1-800-222-1222
    In the case of a poisoning, Poison Control will want to know the name of the product, but also the victim’s age, gender, and weight. Keeping birthdate and weight information in your emergency list could save precious time.

  • Police, Fire, and Ambulance (if other than 911)

  • Utility Companies: Gas, Electric, Telephone, etc.These are needed in case of a power outage, a gas leak, a flood, or loss of phone service.

  • Pediatrician and dentist contact information for each child as well as any eyecare professionals.

  • Veterinarian and any other emergency numbers and any important information (for example, medications) for household pets.

  • Hospital (if appropriate, given the family’s healthcare needs, etc.)

  • Nearby person to call if a problem occurs: a friend, neighbor, or relative who can provide immediate assistance. Give multiple numbers if appropriate.

Contact information for children’s parents/guardians and itinerary if appropriate

Under what conditions do you want to be contacted? Let the sitter know in the babysitter instructions. Include your cell phone, as well as a landline (if possible) where you will be, particularly if you will be in a situation (for example, a theater) in which cell phones must be turned off. In such situations, call the location in advance to find out how emergencies are handled. For example, will an usher come and find you? If so, you may wish to leave your ticket number written down for the sitter so that you can be located as quickly and easily as possible.

• Other vital information that may be needed in an emergency.

  • Child(ren)’s full names, dates of birth, current weight (this will be needed in case of a call to Poison Control). This is also a good place to list each child’s blood type and any allergies they may have (including food, latex, animals, etc.) It is also good to note those who wear contacts and/or glasses and a list of prescription medications and herbal remedies that household members use.

  • Permission to Treat Form that identifies the sitter and the period for which permission is given, and specifies anyone else who should be contacted and any special instructions or important information about the child(ren). The form should also list medications and dosages for any current prescriptions.

  • Allergies, antidotes, and any other important information particular to the child(ren) involved.

  • A copy of the household’s emergency plan, including escape routes and location of fire ladders or other escape aids.

Locations of the following items that may be needed in an emergency should be listed in the babysitter instructions:

  • First Aid Kit and Disaster Supplies
  • Car Keys
  • All household telephones
  • Identification
  • Insurance and Health care cards

Written by Mary Elizabeth

Related Home Institute Articles

  • Introduction to Disaster Supplies
  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Information
  • Disposable Diapers
  • Baby Bath Seat Safety Tips
  • Introduction to Poison Control
  • Introduction to Poisonous Plants