Heimlich Heroes Blog


Apr 06, 2017

Babysitter Preparedness: 4 Things You Need to Know

Babysitting is a great way for teens and young adults to make some extra money. When parents hire a sitter, they want to know their children are going to be safe and well taken care of. Before you accept that babysitting job, make sure you are equipped – in any scenario - to take care of young children.

You’ll need to know the right information and safety procedures. Check out the following scenarios to find out how prepared you are for babysitting safety emergencies:

1. Charlie wants to help you make lunch. He reaches up onto the stove and accidentally places his hand on the hot stovetop. He has a small non-blistering burn on two fingers.

What do you do…?

A) Place ice cubes on the burn
B) Run cool water on the burn
C) Apply butter to the burn

Correct answer: B) Run cool water over the burn

Cool water or a cool compress on the burn for 3-5 minutes helps take away the sting. Applying things like butter or ice to a burn can cause further skin damage and irritation. Applying an aloe gel or a burn cream to the affected area with sterile gauze helps keep the burn clean. For more serious burns, seek medical care. Click here to read more about burns and burn treatment.

2. Suzy and Joseph are playing tag in the backyard. Suzy stops to eat a grape and then runs off to keep playing. Suddenly, she stops running, her face turns red and she places her hands on her neck; she’s choking.

What do you do…?

A) Slap her back to try to dislodge the grape
B) Swipe inside her mouth with your finger
C) Begin the Heimlich Maneuver®

Correct answer: C) Begin the Heimlich Maneuver

The Heimlich Maneuver is the quickest, most effective way to help someone who is choking. Slapping the back will often cause the obstruction to get lodged even further down the windpipe and should not be used on a choking victim. A first-aid training class should be taken before babysitting to learn life-saving skills like the Heimlich. Train yourself, your kids, your neighbors, and students with the Heimlich Heroes program by registering online. You can also watch this short Heimlich Heroes training video.

3. Jane and her sister are supposed to be taking a nap. Instead, they are jumping around on the bed. Jane falls off and lands on her wrist. Her wrist is swelling and the slightest pressure or movement cases a lot of pain. She appears to have a broken bone.


What do you do…?

A) Call the parent and arrange to meet them at the hospital/wait for their arrival
B) Make the brothers finished their nap
C) Wait to see if the swelling goes down

Correct answer: A) Call the parent and arrange to meet them at the hospital/wait for their arrival

Broken bones always need medical attention. Call the parent(s) right away or 911 if it is a more serious emergency. Wait for the parent to pick up the child or plan to meet them at the hospital. You can wrap the broken area to help immobilize it and apply ice to help with swelling. Read more information on broken bones here.

4. You are babysitting for a new family that you don’t know. You get a tour of the home and go over schedules and rules for the children. The parents are about to leave but you need one more thing from them.

What do you ask for…?

A) Dinner money
B) Emergency numbers/where they are located
C) If you can have friends over

Correct answer: B) Emergency numbers/where they are located

Even if you know the family well it’s important to ask for emergency numbers or where they are located in the house. You need to have the parent’s numbers, maybe a nearby relative or neighbor, doctor’s office and local emergency numbers on hand. If an emergency happens, you need to be prepared to make calls right away.

If you passed this quiz with flying colors you are ready to take the next steps! Check out our article on how to get ahead of the babysitting competition!

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