This post originally appeared on Nanny Magazine, October 5, 2017.

It happened. In the blink of an eye, it happened. My two-year-old NK locked his baby sister in the car! It was unexpected and I couldn’t believe it happened. We were at a

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

grocery store, leaving to head home for naps, and he wanted to hold my keys to help. I put the baby in the car and shut the door. Then, we walked around to the other side of car, but the car door wouldn’t open. My heart immediately sank. When I discovered the door wouldn’t open, I asked him calmly about my keys and he told me in his sweet, little kid voice, “I help you,” and I knew in that instant, I needed to get ACTUAL help, right away! It hit me that in his effort to help me, in our excitement chatting about a video we were going to make for his parents when we got home, that he had put the keys in the car for me. He must have pushed the button to lock the doors when he set them inside, and I didn’t hear it. I knew I needed to act fast!

Within seconds of realizing he had locked her in the car, I realized that my cell phone was also in the car. I knew I needed to remain calm. I saw someone in their car chatting on their phone, so I walked over and asked them if I could use it to call 911. The man was super nice and handed the phone right over. I stayed calm, spoke to the operator, and within seven minutes both the police and fire department had arrived. It was a very warm day and my only concern was for the baby locked inside of the hot car. I didn’t care what my employers would think about the situation, or about the cost of fixing my vehicle; my only thought was for her safety. The firemen were very nice and offered me two options: call someone to come unlock the door (which would take 10-20 minutes), or break the window. I wanted to scream, “Just break it and get that baby out!” but I knew for my NK’s sake and for my nanny baby, I needed to stay as calm as possible. I told them to please break the window, as her safety was paramount. Within 10 minutes of being locked in the car, she was out safe and sound.

What a rush! I was so grateful to the fire department for getting her out so quickly. Once home, I made sure to call one of the parents to let them know what happened, as I felt it was important to tell them as soon as I could. Luckily, they also felt I had handled the situation correctly. What a relief! They even offered to pay for the window, which again, in that moment, I didn’t care about. I just cared about getting her out quickly and safely. But, having the support of my nanny bosses really helped in the aftermath.

After this happened, I knew I wanted to share my experience. This was an accident. This didn’t happen because I was neglectful or a “bad nanny.” It was something you can’t plan for or expect to happen, which is why we call it an accident to begin with. It definitely doesn’t make me less of a nanny; in fact, I feel even more confident in my role now because I know, in an emergency, I can keep my cool, stay calm, and do what needs to be done to ensure the safety of my nanny kids.

  • Make sure you keep a signed medical permission form for each child (this emergency reminded me that I only have one for my older NK and I needed to have the parents sign another one for the new baby). I keep one copy in my diaper bag and another in my wallet, just in case.
  • I keep a stocked first aid kit in my car at all times and a small first aid kit in my diaper bag; I also keep one or two band-aids in my wallet.
  • Sometimes my employers don’t answer the phone when I call; it’s important to know their office numbers or a back-up person to call, so that you can reach a parent ASAP in an emergency. It’s also beneficial to keep a written record of all important phone numbers (parents’ work, grandparents or other relatives, neighbors, pediatrician, etc.) in your wallet or diaper bag, just in case something happens to your cell phone and you can’t access an emergency contact.

Accidents are going to happen, but we can take steps now to ensure that when it happens, we know we can handle it. I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t a fun experience, especially having to call a parent and tell them what happened, but as a nanny, it’s my responsibility to keep my little ones safe and I strive to do that every single day. While I hope that we don’t have another accident or emergency anytime soon, I know that if something does happen, I have the ability to stay calm and be the best nanny I can be for my charges and their parents.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

TLC wants to continue to help you care for your family while we all try to overcome the covid-19 pandemic.

Here are a few ways we have found we can be helpful beyond our usual range of services and policies:

TLC Online Homework Helper Program:

We have many teachers and college students available now. We can easily connect one with you through video tools that are easy to use and help your child with their work so you can focus on yours!

TLC One to One In-Home Care Program:

We have developed the one to one program in collaboration with several premiere agencies across the U.S.  The concept is fairly simple.  One specific sitter commits to caring for your family on a regular basis. They will practice social distancing and will limit outings only for groceries, pharmacy, and essential needs, always protected by PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and  at all times adhering to CDC guidelines.  When a family makes the same commitment to a caregiver, then all parties are assured that their exposure potential is greatly reduced.  Care timeframe can start with a minimum of two weeks and be increased as needed.

TLC Personal Shoppers:

TLC Caregivers are now doing shopping for those of you who need help staying supplied.  Our shoppers will go to one or more stores of your choice, shop  your grocery list, and deliver to your home in a contact-free manner.  Shoppers will supply their own PPE while shopping and delivering. We usually can deliver an order the same or next day.

TLC’s Summer Nannies:

A TLC nanny can be your kid’s own personal camp counselor! Are you planning for a summer with kids home? Could you use some help with activities and supervision? With the potential of camps cancelling and other group activities being interrupted, ease your mind with a summer nanny who will be focused on keeping your kids busy and active.  They will do their very best to make a summer “stuck at home” more tolerable with games, activities, and of course lots of TLC. Please check out our Nanny page for more information.

Please call the office for more details and pricing at 314.725.5660 or send an inquiry from the form at the bottom of this page.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

Summer is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about childcare for the break.

TLC for Kids have great nannies ready to work this summer. All of our nannies are experienced, screened and excited about playing with your kids this summer! TLC summer nannies will explore the city with your kids. They will go to the Zoo, the Science Center, the pool, and all sorts of fun places.

 

Contact us today to start your summer nanny search.   St. Louis, Mo. 314-725-5660   South Florida 305-256-5905

TLC for KidsSummertime safety is a big concern for most parents, simply because many children get long breaks from school and are either home all day or with a caregiver. During the school year, it’s comforting to know your child is safe in a classroom with a competent teacher, but during summer months, it can be difficult not to worry. When your child has special needs, that worry is magnified tenfold.

It takes a little planning, but it is possible to have a relatively stress-free summer along with your child. With some preparation, communication, and careful planning, you can figure out a way for your child to be safe and have fun at the same time. Here are some of the best tips.

Summer Nanny

If your child will be with a nanny during the day, it’s important to maintain communication with them at all times and let them know what to expect at the beginning of each day. If they’ll be taking your child outside the home–to a park or playground, for instance–you might consider making a visit there first to check out the equipment and to see what sort of surfaces there are. Playgrounds with mulch are much preferable to those with gravel or concrete.

Keep a contact list for the nanny with detailed instructions on what they need to tell a first responder about your child’s medical needs should an accident occur. This includes any allergies, your child’s official diagnosis, and any medications they are taking.

Make sure to communicate to the nanny that being well-rested is important when they are spending time with your child. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are invaluable, whereas too little sleep could negatively affect their ability to function rationally and quickly.

Outdoor safety

Teaching your child how to be safe outside is imperative for summer months, and this includes water and pedestrian safety. Educating them about crosswalks, how to look both ways for vehicles, holding hands before crossing, and staying away from parked cars will go a long way in giving you peace of mind when they aren’t with you.

For water safety, consider enrolling your child in a swim class. Many children on the autism spectrum love the feel of water, so it’s especially important to teach your child how to stay safe when swimming. Always drain kids’ pools after use and consider installing motion sensors near in-ground or large above-ground pools if you have a child who wanders.

Always have your child use a helmet and knee/elbow pads when they are using any equipment that moves, such as a bike, scooter, or roller skates. Make sure the helmet and pads fit well and are in good shape.

Watch the heat index

Many children with special needs have a decreased tolerance for heat, so it’s important to follow the weather reports and prepare. Dehydration can occur quickly and with little warning, but some signs to look for are headache, nausea, cramps, dry mouth, irritability, fatigue, and few trips to the bathroom. Urine will be dark in color. If your child has any of these symptoms, get them into a cool, shady spot immediately and give them water to drink. A cool washcloth on the back of the neck can help if one is available.

Summer can bring lots of things to think about, but with a little bit of planning and good communication, you can make it a fun time for everyone involved.

TLC for Kids has caregivers who have experience working with children who have special needs.    To learn more about TLC for Kids visit the website at tlcforkids.com

Thank you to our guest writer Sean Morris!

 

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for LearnFit.org to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.

It is finally summertime!  TLC for Kids nannies and sitters can spend their days playing outside and soaking in the sun!  I have seen so many great outdoor ideas for things to do this summer on Pinterest.  Now would also be a great time to update your TLC goody bag with things to do outside like bubbles, chalk, or a kite. Just a few reminders when spending time outside this summer.

  • Remember to use sunscreen.  Ask mom or dad where it’s kept and how they would like it used.  Also, keep little ones in the shade or under an umbrella.
  • TLC babysitters are not allowed to go swimming.  This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other water play ideas. With the parent’s permission you can play with the sprinkler, water balloons or water guns!
  • Don’t lock yourself out of the house.
  • Stay hydrated.  Make sure everyone is drinking plenty of water while playing outside.

 

Remember TLC for Kids sitters in South Florida and St. Louis are experienced and screened and ready to come play with your kids this summer!

Summer is right around the corner. With an increase in temperatures, and kids out of school, everyone spends more time outdoors. More time outdoors means more sunburns. However, there are preventive steps to keep your child sunburn free.  

 

Share these tips with your nanny, so your child is always safe and healthy during the summer months.

 

Sun Safety

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a few things to keep your child safe in the sun:

1)    Seek Shade: UV radiation is the strongest during midday. During this time, it is best to plan indoor activities (puzzles, reading, arts and crafts), but if you must be outside, try playing under a tree, an umbrella, or get creative with a tent. Talk to your childcare provider about proper planning of activities to decrease the amount of time your child is outside when UV rays are the strongest.

2)    Cover Up: Most kids are uncomfortable with long sleeves and pants during the summer heat, but there are other ways to protect your child’s body. Hats are a good idea to wear outdoors because they protect the face, scalp, ears, and neck. Further protection for your child’s eyes is also important, so find sunglasses that offer 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. Leave these items in an easy to find place, so your childcare provider is always able to properly dress your child for safe play in the sun.

3)    Apply Sunscreen: SPF 30 is recommended every time your child goes outside (higher SPF coverage is always an option). Sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes before going outside, and reapplied often. Especially after any exercise or water play. Communicate with your childcare provider how often your child needs sunscreen and how much sunscreen your child needs.

 

Communicating with your nanny about these sunburn tips will help keep your child safe this summer. 

Remember TLC for Kids has screened babysitters to help will all your summer childcare needs!    

Decked out in their pajamas, Bodhi, Kai, Drake and Roman colored with markers and listened to a complete stranger read aloud Pete the Cat while their moms and dads slipped out the front door.

That the young boys didn’t know Melissa Rincon meant little; meeting new sitters is old hat when you’re between the ages of 3 and 6. But tonight, their parents had only met Rincon 15 minutes earlier when she knocked on Jodi Gallant’s door and introduced herself as the babysitter…

In a matter of minutes, Gallant versed Rincon, 24, about acceptable snacks, bedtime tricks and procedures for operating the television remote, while Drake and Roman’s mom checked out her vibe. Feeling assured, the parents were then on their way to the SoHo Beach House.

“Good luck,” Gallant said. Gallant’s husband, Stuart Sheldon, calls the service “convenient” and trustworthy.

“These guys are great. I had no hesitancy at all,” he said of TLC for Kids, the Miami company that employs Rincon. Co-president Sharon Graff-Radell…said sites that register millions of sitters may not catch everyone who has a red flag in their background, or who isn’t qualified to watch kids. “The problem with these online sites is people have a false sense of security,” she said. “They’re Internet companies. They’re not child-care companies. They’re the Amazon.com of child care.”

Graff-Radell said TLC… connects [parents] for a fee with one of its sitters, all of whom have minimum credentials like CPR certification, and have undergone…background checks. Families can also request sitters they’re familiar with.

“I have to take responsibility for everyone I send out, so it’s safer to use a service like mine than really to hire the high school kid two blocks away,” she said.

That commitment, a bio they received about TLC employee Rincon, and a phone conversation the night before was enough to make Jodi Gallant, her husband and their friends visiting with their boys from California feel comfortable. Rincon said she works at a day care at Florida International University, where she’s studying early childhood education.

“She called me and wanted to know what the boys were interested in, and she brought her own coloring books. Most babysitters never do that,” said Gallant as Rincon got to know her kids. “I just instantly felt a good feeling.”

Then Rincon brought out the goody bag and Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. And with the boys distracted by the story of how Pete stepped in a pile of strawberries, the parents quietly headed to Miami Beach.