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How should I prepare my child to babysit?

ANSWER

Before you let your tween babysit, demand the same qualifications that you would from any babysitter you consider hiring. Any babysitter needs to be:

Preteens can learn some of these skills, along with first aid and CPR, by taking a babysitting class. Check with your local chapter of the American Red Cross or YMCA for babysitting classes in your area.

  • Responsible
  • Mature
  • Able to make good decisions
  • Able to follow the rules
  • Comfortable handling authority without abusing it
  • Able to calmly handle any emergency or other problems that arise

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone" and "When Can I Stay Home Alone in the Daytime?"

American Academy of Pediatrics.

University of Michigan Health System: "Babysitter Safety -- What Parents and Sitters Need to Know."

Child Welfare Information Gateway: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 20, 2018

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone" and "When Can I Stay Home Alone in the Daytime?"

American Academy of Pediatrics.

University of Michigan Health System: "Babysitter Safety -- What Parents and Sitters Need to Know."

Child Welfare Information Gateway: "Leaving Your Child Home Alone."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on October 20, 2018

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How can I make my house ready to leave my preteen there alone?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.