8 Healthcare Tips for Babysitters

by Garreth Myers

  1. An allergic reaction is a babysitter’s worst nightmare. Picture this: you frantically rifling through cabinets for allergy medication while trying to subdue a wailing child AND trying to call the parents AND trying to decide whether you need to call 911! Find out about all possible allergies and ask the parents for detailed instructions in case of a reaction.    
  2. Children may have cuts and scrapes that need to be cleaned while toddlers may have rashes that need to be powdered. Whatever the case, find out if the child needs any regular medical attention and if you are not comfortable with these requirements, let the parents know immediately.  
  3. It’s best if you ask parents to sign a medical release form. Parents obviously don’t like to consider the possibility of their child getting seriously injured, so make sure that you handle the conversation tactfully. Explain that without a release form, a doctor may withhold medical treatment until the parents arrive.
  4. Life-saving skills are extremely important and so it would be great if you could take a first aid and/or CPR class. The Red Cross has a babysitting and care-giving course for young girls to help them understand and cope with emergencies.
  5. Children often develop potentially hazardous behavior… the last thing you need is a 5 year old trying to juggle his mum’s kitchen knives! Ask the parents about their child’s habits so that you can be on the lookout for signs of trouble. Explain to the child why his/her behavior is dangerous and wrong. After they promise not to repeat the behavior, treat them to some sweets and goodies. This is also a great way to distract them from their hazardous habit.
  6. Some parents are fine with their kids spending their evening on the couch washing down their chips and chocolates with a giant soda while others insist on nothing but health foods and educational activities. Discuss food options with parents so that you have a clear understanding of what the kids can and cannot eat.   
  7. Sniffing at food is not a reliable method of checking if it’s gone bad and just because the bread is not sporting any nasty hair does not make it safe to eat! Check the expiration date on all food items, whether it is for the child or for you.  
  8. Make sure that the kids maintain proper hygiene habits. They should wash their hands thoroughly before they eat anything even if it is just fruit. If they have been playing outside, it would be wise to help them to rinse/wash their legs as well.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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