Babysitting tips for teens

June 25, 2019
Babysitting tips | Texas Children's Hospital
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Babysitting is a huge and exciting responsibility. As a pediatrician, I often get asked for advice when a teen is getting ready for his or her first babysitting job. Here is a list of my “babysitting do’s and don’ts.”

Babysitting do’s

  • Your first priority is keeping the children in your care safe. It’s important to know the home address and home phone number. Make sure you have a list of emergency numbers as well, including: 
    • Parent's name, phone number 
    • Back up adult in the event parents are unreachable 
    • 911 
    • Poison control (1-800-222-1222)
    • Pediatrician (be sre to get the children's pediatrician's name and phone number)
  • Arrive prepared. Great resources to find a babysitter training or safety course include the Red Cross and YMCA of Greater Houston.
  • I recommend all babysitters have first aid skills like CPR. Know where the first aid kit is located. Hopefully you will never need it, but it is always important to know. 
  • Make sure to ask for instructions regarding meal time. Do the children have any food allergies?
  • Most importantly, have fun! Board games and playing outside are great ways to keep kids active and entertained. 

[Read:] Best practices for water safety and drowning prevention

Babysitting don’ts

  • Except in the case of emergencies, it is best for you to stay off your phone and other devices. Watching kids is challenging enough, you do not need the added distraction.
  • Make sure you know how many kids you can handle at a time. Don’t try to babysit too many children at once. 
  • Do not leave children alone and make sure to check on them often after they go to bed. 

To learn more, visit American Academy of Pediatrics babysitting reminders.

If you're looking for a pediatrician in your area, visit Texas Children's Pediatrics.

Post by:

Elizabeth "Raine" Johnson, MD, FAAP