Abuja - A US teen was arrested and charged after leaving bite marks on the neck of a nine-year-old boy. 18-year-old Tawny Hickman had allegedly been babysitting the youngster who had slept over at her house, according to WPBF.com. When the boy returned home, his mother noted “hickey-type marks” on his neck, prompting her to call 911.
The boy’s mother claimed that Hickman had been babysitting the boy, and that she’d ignored neighbourhood rumours about “stuff going on” between the pair.
The boy had allegedly joined his babysitter in her bedroom where they’d bitten each other- she reportedly had bite marks on her abdomen. She has been charged with child abuse and battery.
When babysitters go bad
Parents often look forward to the rare occasions when they can get a babysitter to look after their kids so that they can go out for the evening. Babysitters may be family friends, siblings, family or hired from a professional babysitting service. It is important that whenever you choose a babysitter that you can trust that person with your children. Whether or not the “hickey” situation was just ill-advised play or something more sinister, it goes to show that the most important aspect of using a babysitter is that the person concerned is a responsible individual.
Here are some tips for choosing the right babysitter for your child:
1. Make sure you know the babysitter or the babysitter agency. Find out some background details and chat to the person, and consider introducing your child to the sitter before the big night out. That way you can observe the dynamic between your child and the sitter.
2. It’s ok to set up some rules and/or boundaries, such as limiting TV or computer time, no smoking or drinking, no leaving the house for any reason while you are out. You may have rooms you’d prefer to keep private, in which case you can lock them.
3. Instead of saying “help yourself” to the fridge or other groceries, set out a tray of snacks for your child and the sitter so that there’s no confusion.
4. Don’t leave tempting articles such as cash or jewellery in clear view and consider locking away valuables to avoid temptation.
5. Make sure that your child is finished bathing before the sitter arrives. This will be more comfortable for all concerned.
6. Ask that the sitter’s cell phone only be used for emergencies. A sitter who spends hours on Facebook isn’t focussed on your child.
7. You’re probably paying the sitter, so it’s fine to check up every now and then, or ask them to liaise with you.
8. If you really can’t cope with the idea of leaving your child alone, you may consider installing a nannycam that you can view remotely, although it would be fair to share that info with a sitter, too.
9. Leave important contact numbers in case of emergency.
10. Have fun!