If you are one of those mothers who has to work out of home, it is of immense importance, that in your absence, your child is protected from any danger within and around the house. You may be well acquainted with your child’s nanny, but there are many other things, apart from your child’s caretaker, to take into consideration for your child’s safety. Before you hand over the care of your child to someone else in your absence, ensure that certain child safety guidelines have been followed. This includes childproofing the home and imparting basic safety tips to your child.
Childproofing Your Home
This is the initial step of ensuring your child is safe from potential dangers. Keep breakable items in a locked drawer or cupboard.. Keep the cupboards, drawers and cabinets closed and locked and put child-locks. Secure the electrical sockets with switch caps. If the appliances are kept inside a room, try to keep it locked, or the appliances out of reach of children, preferably locked. Get finger guards and suctioned stoppers installed for windows and doors. Install doorstops to prevent your child from accidentally locking the doors. Use corner protectors to cover the sharp edges of the corners and furniture. Keep cosmetics, toiletries, medicines, disinfectants, etc locked inside cabinets that are unreachable to your child. Use faucet covers to protect the water faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Instructions to the Caretaker
Ensuring the necessary safety measures have been taken, you must guide the caretaker not to remove the safety accessories. If removed, teach them how to reinstall it. Give proper instructions that your child should never be left unattended or allowed to use things without supervision. Keep all child essentials ready so that the caretaker knows where to find them. Give clear instructions on cleanliness, hygiene and safety standards. Give instructions never to let strangers in during your absence, even if it’s the caretaker’s family member or friend. If after a couple of weeks your child is still not getting along with the caretaker, understand that there could be something wrong. Be at home for a couple of days and see how the caretaker behaves with your child. If you’re not comfortable with how the interaction goes,, make sure you talk to the caretaker. Do not criticize. Instead, talk to them about what you feel is good your child and explain why it is so. Communicate your thoughts in a way that no one feels hurt. If your child is left with an older sibling, provide the necessary instructions on how to take care of the little one at home.
Instructing Your Child
If the caretaker takes the child out for a walk or for play, you need to ensure that your child has to learn some basic safety measures. Educate them about the possible bad people they could meet outside. Instruct them not to accept chocolates or candies from strangers, or from anyone in that matter. If you have two or more kids left at home on their own, instruct them the same. Educate them about the potential dangers of going out alone and meeting strangers. Tell them not to take car rides from strangers. In case of sensing danger, educate them about screaming loudly. If they attend a phone call from a stranger, tell them not to disclose the fact that they are alone. If your child is going to a neighbour’s or friend’s house, make a phone call to the house and make sure your child is safe.
Not all mothers are lucky enough to get a family member or a friend to take care of the child. Nannies and caretakers must be chosen after thorough investigation and scrutiny. Appoint only after a background check of the person and the family has been done. After appointing, have the person take care of your child in your presence for a week or so. This will make your child perceive that the new person is someone he can trust. Start with being with the caretaker for a week and then leave the two alone for some time. Only once your child is comfortable should you leave the complete care of your child with the caretaker. If you’re still worried, request a reliable neighbour or friend to make an unexpected visit while you’re away to check if things are fine. You should also make unexpected visits home. A caretaker who is not receptive or cannot accept mistakes and advices is not ideal for the job.