The Safe Community Coalition of Brockville & District wants to make sure that when you are given the responsibility for babysitting young children that you will use your best judgment and common sense at all times. This means turning up your radar, and listening to that little voice inside you that will help you make good decisions and avoid potential problems or risky behaviour.
We are providing some basic street-proofing tips for you to follow to increase your safety and the well-being of the children you are caring for. Following these guidelines and trusting the power of your own instinct is the best way for you to stay alert…and stay safe!
- Do not to take the children to isolated parks, woods, parking lots or even an empty school yard at any time, particularly late afternoon or evening.
- When taking children to after-school activities, plan the best route with your employer or parents in order to avoid unsafe locations. Make certain you follow a safe route each and every time and know where friendly and supportive neighbors are located should you need help.
- If anyone you don’t know invites you or the children you’re caring for, into their home or car, always say no unless your employer or parent has previously given you permission.
- If someone does attempt to grab you or the children you’re taking care of, scream loudly and keep screaming. Yell out Help! Fire! or Kidnap! If screaming isn’t effective, run fast for a safe location.
- Remember, if you have to ride on an elevator to get to and from your babysitting job or within an apartment building, stand closest to the elevator control panel so you are able to push the alarm button in case of an emergency.
- Always listen to your internal personal radar. It’s that little voice inside that tells you when something feels wrong or dangerous.
- Make sure that there is a message center with the following information in every home where you baby-sit:
- a number where parents can be reached
- the children’s routes to & from school
- trusted & nearby family friends’ phone numbers
- emergency phone numbers
- location of health cards
- Ensure you have clear instructions from your employer or parents concerning their rules for answering the door or answering their telephone.
- If trouble occurs, choose the person you want help from. Safe people to consider are a police officer, fire fighter, EMS Paramedic (Call 911 in an Emergency), mothers or fathers with children, teachers, uniformed bus drivers or store clerks. Always keep the children in your care with you.
- If you and the children find yourselves in a situation that feels uncomfortable, get out of it … fast!
These are just a few of the Street-proofing tips available for you. A recognized babysitting course is the best way to get all the information you will need to know when caring for younger children, whether it be babysitting as a paid responsibility or caring for your younger brothers and sisters. Please be safe and avoid risky behaviours.
Let’s all work together in partnership to make Brockville the Safest & Healthiest Community in which to live, learn, work and play in Canada.