Baby-Sitters' Guide to Crime Prevention

Many young teens throughout this country are employed as baby-sitters. A large majority of these young teens are girls that take short-term babysitting jobs. While employed as baby-sitters, they should adhere to certain crime prevention tips that will help keep them safe.

Before You Accept
  • Know your employer. Don’t ever except a job from someone you do not know. If you were recommended for the job, find out who recommended you.
  • Always check with your parents and other sources to see if they know the family that is offering the job.
Be Professional
  • Remember that this is a job and professionalism is expected at all times.
  • Follow all the rules of the house you are in and keep in mind that rules change from house to house.
  • Have good communication with your employer about expectations and availability. Be specific about duties to be performed for the job and about your fee.
  • If you cannot drive, discuss transportation before the job is accepted.
Write It Down
  • Parent’s name(s), all phone numbers, address.
  • Number of children, their names and ages.
  • The time you should arrive at the job and an estimated length of stay.
  • Leave a copy of the information listed above with your parents.
When You Arrive
  • Write down the names and phone numbers of all the possible places that the parents will be visiting. Write down all cellular phone numbers that parents have and, if possible, another cellular phone number of a relative that the parents are close to.
  • Have numbers available for police / fire departments and poison control.
  • Ask for instructions concerning incoming phone calls, possible visitors, and lighting to be left on after dark.
  • Be sure all doors and windows are locked.
  • Have an emergency plan and two exits (primary and secondary) in case of a fire.
Ask To Be Sure
  • Bedtime?
  • Children’s use of electronics: TV, gaming systems, radios, and CD players.
  • Find out about meals, snacks, diapers, medicines, visits from friends, and homework.
While You’re There
  • Never open the door to strangers or unexpected visitors.
  • If you take the children outside, never talk to strangers and be careful around swimming pools, roads, and strange animals.
  • Never go outside if you suspect someone is out there.
  • If you hear suspicious noises, turn on outside lights and check by looking out the window. Do not go outside.
  • Do not hesitate to call 911; call 911 before you call the parents.
  • Never let a caller or someone at the door know you are alone with children.
  • Remember you’re a guest: obey all rules, eat only what is offered to you, and stay out of personal areas.
In Case of a Fire
  • Get the children out immediately. Remember that their safety is your primary responsibility.
  • Stay close to the floor to avoid deadly smoke and fumes.
  • Feel doors to see if they are hot; there might be a fire on the other side.
  • After everyone is out of the house, call 911.
When Parents Return
  • Inform them of any problems during your stay, with the children or anything else.
  • Give them any messages taken and inform them of any occurrences that you think they need to know about.
  • If you are uncomfortable accepting a ride home from one of the parents, then insist that you call your own parents.
Remember that this type of job is very important and should be taken very seriously. The parents are counting on you to do a good job and to keep their children safe until they return. By offering you this job, they are saying that they trust you with their most vital possessions, their children. Be responsible and learn from the above guide how to handle such a huge responsibility.