Babysitters Guide

Toddler boy playing with toy vehicleEntrusting your children to the care of a babysitter is a major responsibility. You should know your babysitter well. Try to employ the same babysitter on a regular basis. Only trust people who have a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for children. Your babysitter's first priority should be your children's safety.

Original source: Babysitters Guide from the City of Toronto.

Remember:

  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Keep children away from space heaters.
  • Keep children in sight at all times.

Parent Responsibilities

Before the Babysitter Arrives:

  • Make sure your children and all family members are familiar with your home escape plan including escape routes and your designated outside meeting place.
  • Post your home escape plan where everyone will see it.
  • Test all smoke alarms to verify that they are working. Smoke alarms provide precious early warning that can make the difference to survive a fire.
  • Speak to responsible neighbours so that, in an emergency, the babysitter may contact them.
  • Post emergency numbers by the phone, 9-1-1 and your home address. Include your neighbour's name and telephone number and also the number where the babysitter can reach you.

When the Babysitter Arrives:

  • Tour your home with the babysitter, reviewing your home escape plan. Discuss the floor plan, pointing out marked exits.
  • Show the babysitter the designated outside meeting place. Point out your neighbour's neighbours' homes.
  • Clearly explain to the babysitter that if there is smoke or fire, your only concern is that everyone gets out of the home quickly and safely. If a smoke alarm sounds, no one should try to locate the fire and no one should try to put it out!
  • Point out emergency telephone numbers to the babysitter and provide them with an emergency information sheet (see the example at end of this page). Note: Babysitters should keep this information sheet with them at all times when they are babysitting your children because they will need it if they have to quickly run to a neighbour's.
  • Provide a flashlight for the babysitter in the event of a power failure and show them where you store an emergency kit.
  • Provide the babysitter with additional relevant information about the children's routines and special needs such as allergies, medical conditions and medications.

Emergency Information for Babysitters

Babysitter Responsibilities In The Event Of A Fire:

  • Keep the safety of the children in mind. Get them to safety.
  • No matter how small a fire is, if you see or smell smoke, or detect an odour of gas (smells like rotten eggs), immediately get the children outside and call 9-1-1.
  • Don't waste time dressing the children, even in cold weather.
  • Wrap them in blankets instead.
  • Don't turn on light switches as this may create a spark, ignite gas vapours and cause an explosion.
  • Never re-enter a burning building. Smoke and toxic gases from a fire can be fatal.

Contact Information for Babysitters:

Police: Fire:
Ambulance:

Family name:
Address:
Telephone:

Parents can be reached at:
Address:
Telephone:
Parents are due back at:

Neighbour's name:
Address:
Telephone:

Important information about the children:

Download a printable copy in PDF format, print it, and fill it out. Be sure to place it in an accessible and obvious location, like on the refrigerator or near the main telephone.

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