Safety First!

Attention parents and au pairs! Go Au Pair has your child’s safety in mind. I’d like to share a few tips with you to make your holiday season as safe as possible. Please share these tips with family and friends, au pairs, nannies and babysitters alike!

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Let’s start with the babies. Crib bumpers are a problem. They are pretty, but they are plain dangerous. Please remove any crib bumpers from your child’s crib immediately. Your baby will not roll into the wooden rails and bruise him or herself. Be sure your baby’s crib mattress is snug against the frame. Musical mobile, or mobiles of any kind, should not be hung directly over the crib. Hang them off to the side, in view but out of reach of little hands. Lastly, leave the stuffed animals out of the crib, no matter how little or how cute. They can be just as dangerous as a plastic bag, which you would never leave near your baby!

Toddlers need even more supervision than babies, since they can get around by themselves, and quickly! Be sure to keep safety gates shut, particularly near stairs, pools, porches and so on. Get down at kid-level and look for dangers like loose cords or wires, shade strings and electrical outlets. Even if you don’t have toddlers anymore, you might have one as a guest for the holidays. Make sure toddlers and young children are always supervised, as they tend to get into things when left unattended. Young teens and pre-teens usually make great kid-watchers at get-togethers; tell them they are in charge of a game or activity and let them engage the little ones while the adults visit and prepare the meal.

Before you shop for the kids, and especially if you take hand-me-down toys for your kids, you might want to check out the recall list for toys. As the site says, toy recalls do not expire. A dangerous toy is always going to be a dangerous toy unless it is repaired or removed from your child’s collection. It might feel bad to take a toy away from your child, and he or she may even cry (or not even notice), but rather the tears than a real injury. As a rule, I have my kids go through their toy boxes before the holidays to see if they can find some toys to donate and we throw away any toys that have broken parts. Help your kids be generous at this time of year, as they will likely be getting enough toys in a few weeks to fill the box all over again.

When you host an au pair to meet your childcare needs, there are always cultural differences. Be sure to explain the importance of safety above all things, especially when it comes to the kids. By taking the time to share these important tips, you could make your cultural childcare experience even more incredible. Make sure to explain safety details specific to your home with your au pair, such as what to do in case of a fire, where to find fire extinguishers and emergency numbers, as well as your escape plan and safe meeting place for the family in case of emergency. For my family, we do fire drills to practice getting out and meeting at what we call “safety rock” in front of our house. Whatever you do, plan ahead and keep your au pair in the conversation.

Feel free to contact me about au pair childcare and a cultural childcare experience for your family. Go Au Pair is your agency for au pair childcare! My name is Joan Lowell and I am the Local Area Representative (LAR) in the RI area; call 401.309.1925, email or register online for free.


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