On January 6th 2008 a 12-year-old boy beat a 17-month-old toddler he was babysitting to death with a baseball bat. In many states, two crimes were committed here. The first crime is both heinous and obvious. The second crime was committed by the person who gave a 12-year-old boy the responsibility as the primary caregiver at the time of this tragic death. Children should not be watching children.
Some dangers in the house aren’t as transparent as a sharp corner that needs protecting or a set of stairs that need protecting from a wandering toddler. As witnessed above, sometimes those entrusted to protect our most precious commodities; our children are the very ones that inflict damage that sometimes results in serious injury and sometimes death.
If you are hiring a baby sitter or nanny, please take time to find out as much as you can about this individual. Not all people are programmed to deal with the stresses of taking care of children and the results can be disastrous. Follow our tips for hiring a caregiver and increase your chances of a happy experience for you and your child.
1. Check each reference carefully
2. Quiz sitter on possible emergency situation
3. Run a background check if available
4. Run a nanny cam if available-this will also confirm if they are great with your children
5. Don’t overload a sitter with everyone else’s children-A sitter running in multiple directions can easily lose track of children. Baby-sitting is a big job because kids have a lot of energy. They're experimenting exploring and growing fast. Baby-sitting means giving children the attention they need
6.Develop a plan with your teenager before he/she does any babysitting
7.Children under the age of 15 should not be watching infants
8. provide baby-sitting classes to anyone who watches your child
Caring for a Baby
sitting for a baby means extra responsibility and extra precautions. Do it only if you've had experience or a parent teaches you what to do.
You may be expected to give the baby a bottle, soft foods or some of both. Get directions (written if possible) about how much and how to prepare foods and the usual feeding time.
Very young children can't play for too long without getting tired or bored. Too much roughhousing can make it hard for a child to fall asleep quickly.
Toddlers need time to relax before going to sleep - try reading a story or playing quietly.
Bathing (Do this only if asked by parent.) Bath water should be warm, not hot, and only a few inches deep. Have everything within reach before you put the child in the tub. NEVER LEAVE A CHILD ALONE IN A TUB - NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND!
Have a parent teach you if you don't know how.
Stay awake. It's the only way to be aware of what's going on.
Check on children frequently.
Report anything out of the ordinary before you go home. A parent should know about anything from a tantrum to a slight injury.
Concentrate on your job. The children's safety is more important than doing homework, talking to friends, or watching TV.
Set a good example. Children will imitate almost anything they see -- good or bad.
Come prepared. Bring a flashlight, police whistle (to get help fast), pencil and paper.
Don't open the door to strangers even if they claim to be friends of the family. Keep doors locked.
Don't tell a telephone caller you're alone. Explain that the parent is "busy" and will call back later.
Don't walk home alone at night. Get a ride or have an adult escort you.
Don't ride home with an intoxicated adult. Call for a ride or taxi or have someone come to walk you home.
Don't leave a toddler for a moment. It only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen.
Don't go outside to investigate noises or prowlers. Turn on outside lights, make sure doors are locked, pull shades or drapes and call police.
The bottom line is many families rely on relatives and family members to help fill the void of working parents. It is important that these helping family members are educated on all of the ins and outs of sitting and how to maintain a safe atmosphere so tragedies like above are never repeated.