Ask the Nannies: How do I ensure the safety of the children in my care outside the home?

Safety in Public

Mom’s Best Friend’s staffing specialists Melanie and Elena have extensive experience as professional nannies. Their advice addresses frequently asked questions from both aspiring and experienced nannies.

Ensuring the safety of children in public is a top priority for nannies. Here are some essential strategies and practices Melanie and Elena suggest to help nannies keep the children they care for safe while outside the home.

  • Plan Ahead: Before going out in public, plan the outing, know the destination, and anticipate potential safety concerns. Ensure you have necessary items like a first aid kit and snacks on hand.
  • Supervision: The most fundamental aspect of child safety in public is constant supervision. Nannies should always keep a close eye on the children they are responsible for, never leaving them unattended, especially in busy or unfamiliar environments. Elena emphasizes the importance of vigilance, “I would always remind the children, ‘If you can’t see me, I can’t see you.'”
  • Establish Ground Rules: Setting clear rules and expectations for behavior in public is vital. Teach children about the importance of staying close, not talking to strangers, and following traffic safety guidelines. Make them aware of the risks and how to stay safe, and encourage children to hold your hand or use a stroller where they may be tempted to run, wander, or get lost in a crowd.
  • Emergency Contact Information: Nannies should have emergency contact information, including the parent’s phone number, and any relevant medical information, in case of unexpected situations.
  • Practice Safe Behavior: Lead by example. Nannies should demonstrate safe behavior, such as using crosswalks and obeying traffic rules, to instill good habits in the children. As children get older, it’s important to teach them safety skills like memorizing their address and phone number, using public restrooms, and knowing how to seek help if lost.
  • Stay Calm: In emergencies, nannies should remain calm and focused, reassuring the children and following safety protocols. Being composed can make a significant difference in resolving critical situations.

By implementing these safety practices and strategies, nannies can help create a safe and secure environment for children in public, allowing for enjoyable outings while minimizing risks and concerns.