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Is your child safe with a tech-savvy babysitter?

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With today’s ubiquitous technologies, parents would be hard-pressed to find caregivers for their children who are completely unplugged from social media and other online activities. However, those tasked with the care of other people’s children have the responsibility to remain vigilant and not become distracted by smartphones or digital media.

But how can parents ensure that their child’s caregiver remain focused on the child’s safety and not the latest Twitter and Facebook updates?

The best way is to initiate a conversation about your expectations of their online activities while they are caring for your child. Establishing the following ground rules can prevent a disaster.

— If you forbid your child’s nanny from texting when watching your child, don’t use texts to communicate with them. Make sure that they understand that texting and phone calls are only for emergencies.

— Make sure the nanny understands that she is never to take or post photos of your child online, no matter if the photos are taken at home or out in the community.

— Send a Facebook friend request to the caregiver and begin following her on Twitter. This will give you a peek into her lifestyle and activities when not with your child. If you see something alarming, take action.

— The nanny should never post information online about her childcare responsibilities or any details about your child. Checking in on Facebook to different locations provides potential predators with a map of the locations where your child is likely to be.

— Social media is an unwelcome distraction for caregivers who must remain focused on their charges. Implement a “No social media” policy when the caregiver watches your child.

If your child was harmed due to a distracted or negligent caregiver’s preoccupation with social media or online activities, you may have grounds for filing a claim for damages with the agency who employs them.

Source: sheknows.com, “Is your tech-savvy babysitter a danger to your child?,” Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick, accessed Aug. 14, 2015

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