CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kelsey McGoldrick has been babysitting for seven years. She has watched dozens of kids and knows emergencies do happen.
“You kind of just don't think that they’re going to have a seizure while you’re there,” she said.
McGoldrick vividly remembers when a small child in her care had an epileptic seizure.
“I was holding her and she all of the sudden just froze up and turned purple,” she said.
Fortunately the child’s parents told McGoldrick how to handle it.
But parents aren't always doing the best things to enable well trained babysitters to stay safe. What kinds of things should parents keep in mind?
Let them know whether they can answer the door
Let the sitter know if they should answer the phone if it rings.
Make sure the bathroom doors are shut, especially if there are toddlers running around.
Shut the doors to the laundry room because there are a lot of chemicals in there.
Tell the sitter where the first aid kit is kept
Point out where flashlights are stored.
Make sure the sitter knows what the family escape plan is in case of fire.
As for kids who have asthma, it’s not enough for the child to know where the inhaler is because sometimes when the kid gets sick they have trouble communicating where something is.
By law babysitters can’t administer an epi-pen to a child with allergies. Parents can prepare in advance and write a permission for the sitter to give the child an epi-pen in an emergency situation. Make sure both parties sign it.
Most parents readily give the sitter their cell number, but batteries die and reception can be a problem. Sitters should have more than one number to call in case of emergency.
The American Red Cross offers a babysitting certification course for kids age 11 to 15. For more information on babysitting certification, you may visit http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/babysitting-child-care