Choose a Safe Caregiver
Please consider these simple tips and warning signs before deciding on a caregiver for your child.
Think before you trust. A little planning could save a precious child.
A Safe Caregiver:
- Has experience caring for babies and young children
- Is patient and mature enough to care for a fussy, overexcited or crying baby
- Understands that young children must always be supervised
- Will be watching only your child or a limited number of children so that each child is given adequate attention
- Will never shake, hit, yell at, make fun of, or withhold food for a child as punishment
- Does not abuse alcohol or drugs, or carry a weapon, and will not surround a child with others who may be drinking, using or selling drugs, or carrying weapons
- Keeps your child clean and safe – accidents are infrequent
- Is recommended to have first aid training
- Talks to you and asks questions, as necessary – your caregiver should be able to tell you everything your child did and discuss any concerns
- Is aware of safe sleep practices – babies can suffocate if they sleep face down so they should always be placed in a crib on his/her back with no blankets, crib bumpers, toys, or pillows that might interfere with breathing. Visit Healthy Safe Baby for more explanation about Safe Sleep guidelines.
- Is aware of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Warning Signs of an Unsafe Caregiver:
- Has problems with anger generally or is severely impatient when children have tantrums, cry or misbehave
- Is violent and/or controlling with their partner(s) or others
- Is physically or verbally abusive with children
- Abuses alcohol or other drugs, including marijuana
- Uses prescription medications that have bad side effects or make them drowsy
- Is not trustworthy for any reason – trust your instincts
- Is already stressed
- Your child is not happy to see the caregiver and has become anxious or withdrawn
- Is not open and honest about what they did during the time with your child
- The child has had multiple accidents that could have been avoided
- Your requests are not followed by the caregiver