When your newborn is lying peacefully in their bassinet, it’s hard to imagine that you — or your babysitter or nanny — may ever need to take this child to the emergency room for a broken finger, an acute asthma attack, an injury from a car accident or other crisis or injury. But just in case the unwished-for crisis occurs, you want to make sure you and your child care providers are prepared for it. That means consolidating all of the important emergency contacts and must-know information in one place — preferably in a simple child care safety checklist.
We’ve pulled together a list of the 10 most important pieces of information you or your nanny or babysitter will need to have in the event that your child has a medical emergency. And scroll down for a handy printout of our first-day babysitter checklist that you can fill in and have waiting for your child care provider.
What to include on your emergency checklist
1. Your child’s full name
It’s important that it is spelled correctly. (Your babysitter may know their nicknames, but correct, full names are on health insurance cards.)
2. Your child’s address, ZIP code and phone numbers
In the case of an emergency at home, no one wants to have to run outside and check the house numbers. And if parents live at separate homes, it’s a good idea to list both addresses.
3. Parents’ contact information
This includes work and cell phones, name of employers, work addresses and hours they will normally be there.
4. Your child’s pediatrician’s name and contact information
You’ll also need this information for any specialists your children see, along with a notation on what their specialties are.
5. Your child’s dentist’s/orthodontist’s names and contact information
Dental mishaps and emergencies happen more than we like to think.
6. Any drug/food allergies your child has
Of course, make sure to go over any allergies verbally with your nanny or sitter as well.
7. Any medical conditions your child has/any medications they take
This includes any warning or danger signs and symptoms for each of those conditions. For example, will your sitter know how to identify an asthma attack? Be sure you tell them how to recognize it, how to help with the inhaler and when to call 911.
8. Your child’s health insurance policy number, the subscriber’s name and the address and phone number of the insurance company
There’s usually an 800 number or member service number listed on the back of the insurance card. Some insurance companies will allow you to order duplicate cards, which can be extremely useful for your babysitter or nanny. This is often the very first item asked for in the emergency room.
9. Names and contact information for any family/friends to call for help
This is just in case the parents can’t be reached.
10. Your child’s cell phone number
If you have other kids who may be at school or other activities, include their mobile phone numbers, if any, as well as an emergency contact number of a friend or family member who can help out or pick up other kids in case of an emergency. It’s worth taking the time to tell your kids what will happen if there is an emergency with one of their siblings and which family member or friend the can expect to pick them up or stay with them if necessary.
Put all this information in your own checklist or download the First Day Babysitter Checklist below. This reusable, just-in-case checklist for babysitters and nannies will help keep emergency contacts, procedures and health concerns all in one place. Keep a copy on your refrigerator and make sure every caregiver has one of their own, too. If there’s an emergency while you’re away, this handy checklist will tell your sitters what to do and who to call.
DOWNLOAD: Care.com First-Day Babysitter Checklist (.pdf)