Logan, NOT trapped!I'm not a mom yet, but I have been babysitting for more than a decade and have never encountered a crisis worse than a paper cut -- until recently. Last week I was babysitting my good friend's nephews for the first time. Two hours in, a situation transpired.
Logan, the 3-year-old, went to the bathroom. I was nearby making a cup of coffee, when I heard small cries for help. He had locked himself in. The door was old and it was a bolt lock, with no key.
I don't know how he managed to turn it in the first place, but he was unable to turn it back. I tried picking the lock and was unsuccessful -- and I was also not succeeding at soothing Logan. I felt his increasing panic (along with my own) behind the door. The last thing I wanted to do was call the parents considering I hadn't been there very long, and it was my very first day watching them.
So, I took a chair outside and placed it in front of the window. The window was unlocked so I opened it all the way and attempted to crawl in. Unfortunately, it was a small window and I am not a small girl. With my body half hanging into the bathroom, I tried to explain to Logan how to turn the lock. At this point, he had been locked in there for about 10 minutes, which is longer than any 3-year-old can handle. His attempts to turn the lock were not really focused.
I knew I was going to have to call for backup. Enter 5-year-old big brother, Reed. He confidently went through the window feet first and opened the door less than two seconds later. I told Reed numerous times he was a superhero who had saved the day, and he was given a reward of not one, but two Hershey Kisses.
We survived, but I did learn a lot ... along with some other helpful tips that all parents should share with their sitter to keep everyone safe:
1. Let your babysitter know if there are any danger zones in your home or spots where your kids have found themselves trapped (like doors with no key or an off-limit basement).
2. Besides leaving emergency phone numbers, leave the address of your home and phone number written down clearly along with it. If the babysitter needs to call 911, they may not have your address memorized.
3. Make sure those on the emergency contact list know they are on the list, and let the babysitter know who lives the closest so that person can arrive the fastest if necessary.
I always want to do the right thing, so any other tips to keep kids safe while babysitting are helpful. Please share!
Written by Jill Metelitz