Everyone who knows me knows how organized I am. I mean, I literally plan when I’m going to plan. But my supposedly great attention to detail failed me last summer. My husband and I went on a day trip to a nearby antique fair and left the kids with a babysitter. Prior to the date, I had texted our sitter where we’d be and how to get in touch with us if there was a problem.
On the day, I thought we were all set. But the sitter took the kids to a park that’s close to our house, and my daughter tripped and hurt her knee. Now, it wasn’t anything too serious. Our sitter was able to clean it up and put a band aid and some ice on it and all was well. But when my daughter is sick or hurt, she only wants me or my husband helping her, and she desperately wanted to talk to us after she fell. Unfortunately, our sitter had forgotten her phone at her house so she didn’t have the info I had texted her, and she didn’t know our cell phone numbers by heart. And stupidly, I hadn’t written any of it down for her. So, the sitter had a long afternoon of trying to comfort our very weepy daughter.
This situation definitely made me reassess what kind of information we were leaving for our sitter and how we were communicating it to her. So, I created a babysitter info sheet that I now leave out on our kitchen table every time a sitter stays with the kids. Here are a few of the pieces of information that I’ve included:
A list of local emergency contacts. If there’s an emergency, you don’t want your sitter to have to go online or look in a phone book for the proper emergency service to contact. As Babycenter.com notes, it best that you leave contact information for fire, police, poison control and other medical services as well as a neighbor’s information.
Your number and where you’ll be. This seems like a no brainer, but as the story about my daughter’s hurt knee indicates, it isn’t always so cut and dry. In the age of cell phones, we rely heavily on our gadgets for sending info, but that won’t cut it for your babysitter. As WorkItMom.com notes, you should be sure to write down your contact information and the info for where you’ll be.
Each child’s name and their swimming ability. My kids’ favorite activity to do in the summer is swimming. And when we can’t take them, we’ll often let the sitter do it. If your sitter will be taking your children to the pool, first, ask them to prepare by taking a look at this guide which will help them become knowledgeable about the basics of swim safety. Then, make sure she knows how strong their swimming skills are. Of course, she should never leave them alone in the pool, but when she knows how well they can swim, she’ll be able to better manage their time in the pool.
Address of the house and directions to it. If there is an emergency, your babysitter may need to provide your address to emergency medical professionals. make this easy on her. As this information on babysitting safety from the University of Michigan explains, be sure your address is prominently displayed. And if finding your home is tricky (heck, even if isn’t!), provide easy to understand directions, in case she needs to help the responders find your home.
In an emergency, every second counts. When you provide necessary details for your sitter, you make it easier for her to make quick decisions in these tough situations.
Written By: Patricia Sarmiento loves blogging about health, wellness, fitness, and other health-related topics. A health and fitness fanatic, she makes living an active lifestyle a constant goal. She lives with her family in Maryland.