Now that summer is here, families may need to use babysitters more often. Here are some tips for sitters to keep in mind. This is a guest post by Rachel Thomas of babysitting.net.
We all love our technological gizmos and entertainment on the go. However, there is a time and place where these distractions are welcomed. Babysitting, unfortunately, isn’t one of them. As a babysitter, the well-being of a child is in your hands. Being distracted by text messages or online chat sessions could find the child crawling towards a jeopardizing instance. Although you may not think that chatting with your friends on your favorite social media site can put the child in danger, the consequences could literally be fatal
1. Drowning - Did you know that a child can drown on a tablespoon of water? In fact, most humans can’t compensate for that much water in the lungs. In this regard, the family you are working for doesn’t even have to have a pool for this situation to occur. How many times have you inhaled a drink of water and had to cough it up? Imagine the panic a toddler will go through if he or she can’t breathe while you were chatting about dress sizes to your friend on Facebook.
2. Tunnel Vision - Some people can become so focused on their technological goods that they are oblivious to anything around them. The more immersed into the technology you are, the worse this tunnel vision becomes. It is this threat that makes using certain aspects of technology dangerous when your focus is required elsewhere. As a babysitter, you could easily waste several hours online or texting without even realizing time had gone by.
It can take a child less than 60 seconds to put him or herself in danger. As a babysitter, you are responsible for this child and you could be charged for neglect if something happens. Your friends can wait until your workday is over, the child cannot.
3. Incorporation - If you are determined to have your technological goods on you, why not incorporate the device into your babysitting regimen? There are many free apps and games you can download in order to engage the child you are babysitting. This doesn’t mean that you plug the child into your device and go about your business. You are the babysitter, not your tablet or smartphone.
4. Communication – Be sure to check in with the parents who hired you to babysit. What are their expectations regarding the use of technology while you are on the job? Are they okay with you communicating with friends on your cell phone, or would they prefer that you only make calls in case of an emergency? Are video games, computers or tablets allowed for the kids and if so are there any time limits or restrictions? Clear up these questions in advance so there are no misunderstandings.
5. Play Together - Children are easy to please if you are willing to try. As all they want is attention, playing a game with them can go a long way to creating a more stable situation. There are many games that will engage both yourself and your charge such as “Worms: Armageddon” and a slew of others. If you spend quality time with the child, he or she will respond much better to you later on.
Being distracted by technology in any environment that requires your attention is a common problem. Whether you are driving to school or caring for someone’s child, not paying attention to the surroundings could land you or a child in the emergency room. You’re being paid to be a babysitter, not an expert in chat techniques. Look up from your screen and realize the dangers that the world can hold for a young child who doesn’t know that sticking a fork in a power socket is a less than ideal project.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.