Do you trust your babysitter? - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Do you trust your babysitter?

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ATLANTA -

When you become a parent, you naturally want to provide the best care for your children. But there are times when you'll have to trust them in the care of someone else.

Though many of us wish we could watch over our children at all times, it's just simply not possible. It's why Amber McKeen, a child abuse prevention trainer with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta says your babysitter or nanny has an important job.

"When you have somebody else watching your child, you want somebody that you can trust almost as much as you would trust yourself," said McKeen.

She suggests when trying to decide on a babysitter, start with your circle and get referrals.

"Do your personal networking, and see if you can find somebody that you already know or that somebody that you're very close to and trust, knows that person and can give you a really good recommendation and say 'this is a trustworthy person that you can have with your kids,'" said McKeen.

There are online services, like care.com or sittercity.com that take much of the guesswork out of the screening process, but McKeen says ask your own tough questions.

"If you've got to use an online service, then you've got to use a very rigorous interview process with that person that's going to be coming into your home," advised McKeen

A dilemma for some parents is figuring out whether or not to use a nanny cam. And if you do should you tell the nanny?

"I say if you've got a nanny cam, I would advise to let them know about it, so they know that they're on watch. Don't tell them where it is. You can even insinuate that you've got five all over the house if you want to. But that way they know that they've always got to be on their best behavior. Because if they do something to harm your child, you're going to know about it," said McKeen.

Anyone watching your children should have CPR certification and be able to handle major emergencies. McKeen says do your homework and don't make assumptions. It's a decision that just too important to get wrong.

"You know, we tend to think the best of one another, and we think that if this person is willing to spend time with my child, then they're going to do everything they can to take care of them. And unfortunately we know that's not always the reality," McKeen said.

McKeen also suggests both parents and child care providers take a class called Stewards of Children. It teaches you how to recognize, prevent and react to sexual abuse. For more information, click here!

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