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Meet the sitter and check references and training in advance.
Be certain the sitter has had first aid training and knows CPR.
Be sure the sitter is at least 13 years old and mature enough to handle common emergencies.
Have the sitter spend time with you before baby-sitting to meet the children and learn their routines.
Show the sitter around the house. Point out fire escape routes and potential problem areas. Instruct the sitter to leave the house right away in case of fire and to call the fire department from a neighbor's house.
Discuss feeding, bathing, and sleeping arrangements for your children.
Tell your sitter of any allergies or specific needs your children have.
Have emergency supplies available including a flashlight, first aid chart, and first aid supplies.
Tell the sitter where you will be and when you will return.
Be sure any guns are stored unloaded in a locked cabinet, and lock and store the ammunition in a separate place.
Be prepared for an emergency.
Always phone for help if there are any problems or questions.
Never open the door to strangers.
Never leave the children alone in the house — even for a minute.
Never give the children any medicine or food unless instructed to do so by the parents.
Remember that your job is to care for the children. Tender loving care usually quiets an unhappy child.