Getting the job done

  • Babysit only for people you know or who have been referred by a friend.
  • When someone asks you to babysit, find out what time the parents expect to be back, tell them how much you charge and whether you have a curfew.
  • Discuss how you will get there and back.
  • Leave the name, address and phone number of where you will be sitting with your parents. Tell them what time you expect to be home

On the job

  • Before the parents leave, have them write down the name, address and phone number of where they will be.
  • Have the phone number of a neighbor or relative and family doctor.
  • Have the address and phone number of where you are sitting right by the phone.
  • Know how to work the door locks.
  • If you are babysitting at night, be sure all outside lights are on.
  • Ask about fire extinguishers and smoke alarms.
  • Ask about the children's bedtimes, favorite toys and stories, and what they may eat. Check on food allergies and medication.
  • Get permission and instructions on using the video equipment and other appliances.
  • Don't tie up the phone talking to your friends. Your employers may want to check in or call about a change in plans.
  • Do not have friends over to keep you company unless your employer agrees in advance.

In an emergency

  • If you suspect a fire, get the children and yourself out. Go to a neighbor's or a public phone.
  • Call 911. If you need the police, call 911 immediately!

When the job's done

  • Tell your employer if anything unusual happened. Be sure you are escorted home. If your employer cannot walk or drive you home, or if he or she seems intoxicated, ask someone from your family to come for you. Never go home alone at night from a babysitting job.
  • If your employers are unreliable - always late, often intoxicated, etc. - do not sit for them anymore.

Special tips for daytime baby-sitters

  • If you have children out in the backyard, make sure the front door is locked, and vice versa.
  • If you take the children for a walk or to the park, lock all doors and windows before you leave. Be sure to take the keys with you.
  • Be wary of friendly strangers. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, trust your instincts. Take the children and leave.
  • If anything seems unusual when you return to the home - like a broken window, a screen ripped, a door ajar - do not go in. Go to a neighbor's home and call the police.
  • Remember, you do not need change to call the police from a public phone.

(Reprinted from a brochure from the National Crime Prevention Council)