700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

What Teens Need to Know About Being a Safe Babysitter

Oct 07, 2021
babysitter reading to a child.

Being a babysitter can be really fun for a teenager. However, caring for children also comes with a lot of responsibility. There are many things you can do to make sure you are a safe babysitter. This not only applies to the children you babysit, but also yourself.

Before you take a babysitting job, make sure that whoever is reaching out to you is an adult that is a parent or guardian of the child. Talk to your parents about the person offering you the job. Maybe your parent can come with you to meet the family before you schedule your first babysitting job, especially if the adult is someone you do not know.

You also need to think about how you are going to get to and from your babysitting job. Can you drive? If not, can your parent drop you off and pick you up? Never walk home alone from the job when it is dark outside. Before you leave for your babysitting job, tell your parents where you are babysitting and what time you will be home or need to be picked up. Keeping these things in mind will help keep you safe.

Being a safe babysitter also includes keeping the children safe. Here are some things you can do:

  • Know parents’ phone numbers and emergency contact phone numbers
  • Know where the parents are going and when they plan to be home
  • Know the house rules – the parents should tell you what they are
  • Watch the children closely
  • Know their allergies – do they have an EpiPen? What are they allergic to?
  • Be aware of hazards in the home, like medicine cabinets, chemicals, small pieces, sharp objects
  • Know the child’s bedtime and routines
  • Learn emergency procedures, like calling 911, basic first aid, fire safety, using home’s alarm system

Being a safe babysitter might seem overwhelming at first. Watching children is a huge responsibility, so you have to be sure you are ready.

If you want to be fully prepared for your first babysitting job, take Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s babysitter training class for teens. It is a one-day course that teaches you all of the ins and outs of being a safe babysitter. Click here to sign up or call (614) 355-0662 for the next available class. You must be 11 years or older to attend.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.