When you find yourself saying “I need a babysitter,” you’re probably already starting to feel stressed out. Let’s face it, finding a babysitter you can trust is a daunting task. However, if you know the right questions for a babysitter, you’ll feel more confident about the person you hire to care for your child.
In Part 1 of this series, questions about a babysitter’s qualifications and views on child safety were provided. In Part 2, the babysitter’s daily activities for children and her views on challenging situations were discussed. In Part 3, you’ll discover questions to ask about the safety of the babysitter’s home.
Part 3: The babysitter’s home and your child’s safety
1. Do you own a gun? Where is it kept? Is it loaded or is ammunition kept separate?
2. Do you have child safety locks installed on cabinets and drawers?
3. Are your vitamins, medications, chemicals and other dangerous substances locked up or out of a child’s reach?
4. Is your furniture, including your oven, strapped to the walls to prevent crushing hazards?
5. Do you have baby gates installed? Are they pressure gates or wall mounted?
6. Do you have the appropriate child-safe electrical outlet covers installed?
7. What precautions do you take to prevent choking?
8. What precautions do you take to make sure bottles and/or food aren’t too hot?
9. Where will my baby be napping? Have you checked your cribs or playpens for possible recalls? What blankets or stuffed animals do you allow into the sleeping area?
10. Do you have Carbon Monoxide detectors installed in your home?
11. How are children kept safe when you have to step away to use the restroom, when you’re cooking, etc?
12. Do you have exercise equipment such as a treadmill or weight bench, and, if so, is it in an area closed off to children?
13. Do you have any pets? Have they been known to bite?
14. Do you have a swimming pool, trampoline, or other recreational items and how do you ensure the children’s safety in regard to them?
15. Do you have child-safety locks on doors leading to the outside?
The answers to these questions should tell you exactly how committed to child safety the babysitter is, and what changes she’s willing to make to ensure that her home meets your standards for childcare. While no situation will ever be identical to your own home, these questions will help you determine how closely your child proofing priorities match the babysitter’s efforts. When you need to know how to find a babysitter who will have your child’s safety in mind above all else, these questions are a great place to start.
If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 of this series, be sure to go back and review questions pertaining to your babysitter’s background, expectations, and views on child safety as well as her normal daily activities with children and her approach to challenging situations.
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