Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Babysitting Safety

The Safe Sitter® class includes CPR training and other safety topics for babysitters. We also offer tips for parents on choosing a babysitter and deciding whether their child is ready to stay home alone.

Information for Young Sitters

The one-day Safe Sitter® class teaches young teens (11-14) everything they need to know to be safe when they’re home alone, watching younger siblings or babysitting. 

Students learn life-saving skills such as how to rescue someone who is choking, and helpful information like what to do if there is severe weather. The hands-on lessons include fun activities and role-playing exercises. Students even get to use CPR mannequins to practice CPR or choking rescue.

The Safe Sitter® class covers:

Safety skills

  • Indoor and outdoor safety
  • Online safety 
  • Personal safety 
  • Handling emergencies 

First aid and rescue skills 

  • Infant and adult CPR 
  • Injury prevention skills 
  • First aid and injury management 
  • Choking rescue 

Child care skills 

  • Behavior management 
  • Child care development
  • Child care duties 

Business and financial skills 

  • Job screening 
  • How to meet your employer 
  • Setting a wage 
  • Cancelling and rescheduling jobs 

Class Details

Fee: $60 (Includes class material and snacks. Please bring a lunch.)
Register for a class here.

Location: 

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Business and Technology Center
550 9th Ave. S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Information for Parents

When choosing a babysitter, it’s important to think about your children and what your family’s needs are – for example, how many children you have, how old they are, or how often you’ll need a sitter. Ask for recommendations from trusted family or friends. Before hiring a sitter, interview them about their experience, and ask about any safety classes they’ve taken. 

Before you leave a babysitter with your children, make sure he or she has important information, including:

  • Your address
  • Your cell phone number
  • An alternative phone number
  • The name and phone number of a backup adult to contact if needed
  • The number for Emergency Services – 9-1-1
  • The number for Poison Control – 1-800-222-1222
  • Each child’s name and age
  • Expected bedtimes and naptimes
  • Information about any medications your child takes
  • Any instructions for snacks and meals, including allergies or other dietary concerns
  • Any house rules or guidance around entertainment (movies or TV shows they should/shouldn’t watch, rules around screen time, any special rules for playing outside, etc.)
  • Instructions around toileting (for example, location of diapers and changing table, special instructions for watching toddlers who are potty training, etc.)

Does my preteen or young teen need a sitter?

Most children may be ready to stay home alone around the ages of 10-12, but it’s important to remember that every child is different, according to Safe Sitter®, a national organization that works to provide youth with safety and child care training. Some things to consider are:

  • Whether your child can do things independently, like get themselves ready for school in the morning or make their own simple meals and snacks.
  • They know where things are around the house, like a first-aid kit or bandages.
  • They feel confident and ready to stay home by themselves and don’t feel scared to be home alone.
  • They have everything they might need at home while you’re gone – proper locks on the doors and windows, working smoke alarms, food, running water, a first aid kit and a phone, for example.
  • They know how to reach you while you’re out and know when and how to call emergency numbers like 9-1-1 or poison control (1-800-222-1222).

It can be helpful to start with a test run and have them stay home while you run a shorter errand or visit a neighbor. It’s also important to keep in mind that just because your child may be ready to stay home alone, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are also ready to watch younger siblings or babysit. Programs like the Safe Sitter® class will help teach them the skills they need to take on this important new role.

Read more from Safe Sitter®.

Additional Resources

The Safe Sitter® website offers a number of resources for teen babysitters, as well as information to help parents decide if their young teen is ready to stay home alone, watch younger brothers and sisters, or babysit. Learn more.

Contact Us

For more information on the Safe Sitter® class please email ach-safesitter@jhmi.edu

Read more:

Tips Every Teen Should Know Before Babysitting

Renisa Martinez with Safe Kids Florida Suncoast shares babysitting tips for teens whose parents may be asking them to take on more responsibility for watching younger siblings while their parents are working from home.

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