Tag Archives: safety

Can Nannies & Sitters That Work in a Family’s Home Get the Vaccine in NY?

A message from our Payroll & Household Employment Expert, GTM Payroll Services Inc.

“It seems legislation is being passed where this may change, but as for now, our HR advisor is stating that nannies are not official childcare workers for this particular item. The definition is just not firm enough for us to put nannies in a group that is mainly supposed to be (for lack of a better term) ‘official and registered caregivers.’”

BFC’s thought is that you can try to get the vaccine with an employment verification letter and see if you are eligible. We can provide a letter stating that you were referred by our agency as a fully-vetted childcare provider and work in a BFC family home as a regular childcare provider. Your employer (the family) could also provide a letter.

Another option would be for a nanny or sitter to call the Department of Health (DOH) to ask for a vaccine priority. It is certainly possible that they will get it. Anyone applying for vaccinations will also need to fill out a form for the DOH.

That being said, we can’t officially advise that nannies and sitters are included in the first couple of vaccine rollouts that favor licensed caregivers. We will be alerting our childcare providers with any new updates as we receive them.

Please visit our resource page for the latest information on COVID-19.

Looking to hire a babysitter or nanny? Bell Family Company provides fully vetted on-demand babysitting, including full and part time nannies, baby nurses, temporary care, help with virtual learning, and more! Learn why BFC is the best childcare agency, with childcare providers available across the U.S. (on-demand service available in the tri-state area). Contact us today to hire!

BFC COVID-19 Protection Plan

What steps is Bell Family Company taking to protect caregivers and families? Every family has a different set of rules, preferences and precautions. We will ask the family for what makes them feel most comfortable and communicate that to each caregiver. We will also communicate any questions or requests from the caregiver to the family.

Best practices that caregivers and families are taking:

  1. Washing hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds with soap and warm water upon entering a home and throughout the duration of the job.
  2. Wearing masks in any public place at all times including commute, entering and exiting a building, around other people in a close setting, etc.
  3. If the caregiver is requested for an on-demand babysitting job she will wear a mask during the entire appointment. We ask that families and children over the age of 3 that the caregiver is in close contact with also wear a mask.
  4. Carrying disinfectant wipes and ensuring that they wipe down all surfaces that they come in contact with on the way to work (i.e., car door handles, building doors, stroller handles).
  5. Being advised not to shake hands with anyone.
  6. Ensuring they take off shoes at the front door or outside family home; some are leaving coats at the door or bringing a change of clothes separate from what they wore commuting.
  7. Keeping a safe distance of 6 feet from others when able.
  8. Advising the caregiver and family to have a call to review all Covid precautions so that everyone is aware of one another’s comfort level (prior to the caregiver’s first time in the family’s home).

Bell Family Company asks each caregiver and family the following preliminary questions before a babysitting appointment, nanny trial or first day of long term employment:

  1. Are you able to share if you or anyone in your immediate household has had a fever above 100.4 in the past 72 hours? 
  2. Are you or anyone in your immediate household currently sick with any NEW Covid symptoms (i.e., headache, fever, chills or sweating, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose/congestion, loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, aching throughout the body, vomiting or diarrhea) or any other unusual aches or pains?
  3. Have you or anyone in your immediate household been within 6 feet of anyone who has been confirmed to have Covid in the past 14 days?
  4. Would you be able to share if you or anyone in your immediate household have traveled anywhere within the last 30 days? If yes, where? Was it via plane, train, subway or car?
  5. Have you or anyone in your immediate household tested positive for Covid within the last 10 days?
  6. Are you or anyone in your immediate household awaiting results of a Covid test?
  7. Are you able to share what your current Covid precautions include? 
  8. Is there anything else you can tell that would help protect you or the family?

Disclaimer: The information and guidance provided in this document is believed to be current and accurate at the time of posting, but it is not intended as, and should not be construed to be, legal, financial, medical, or consulting advice.

Resources: CDC: COVID-19 | COVID-19 Resources for Household Employers | Employing Household Workers During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nannies & Families: What Is Your COVID-19 Risk Tolerance?

It seems everyone has different behaviors and attitudes toward the pandemic. It’s important to make sure you and your nanny have a similar COVID-19 risk tolerance to avoid any potential issues down the road.

The Association of Premier Nanny Agencies (APNA) has prepared a handy COVID-19 Risk Tolerance Scale that you can share with your caregiver or use during the nanny hiring process. It assigns a numerical value to your risk tolerance from 0 for very strict to 5 for very open.

0: Very Strict
Stays in their personal “bubble” with no outside contact. Only socializes with people living in the same home. Avoids outside contact unless absolutely necessary. Goes outside only if it is possible to maintain six feet of distance. Follows strict infection protocols for items entering the home. Concerned because they are or live with someone who is immunocompromised.

1: Strict
Leaves home for essentials only. Only socializes with people living in the same home. Follows strict etiquette including handwashing, wearing a mask, and social distancing at a minimum of six feet 100 percent of the time. May be concerned because they are or live with someone who is immunocompromised.

2: Fairly Strict
Leaves home for work, exercise, and minimizes trips out for groceries and essentials. May socialize in a socially distanced way in outdoor spaces only. Follows strict etiquette including handwashing, wearing a mask, and social distancing at a minimum of six feet 100 percent of the time outside the home.

3: Somewhat Open
Leaves home for work, exercise, and essentials several times a week. Socializes with a small trusted group of less than 10 unique individuals but only in outdoor spaces. Follows handwashing, wearing a mask, and social distancing at a minimum of six feet more than half of the time outside the home.

4: Moderately Open
Leaves home for work, exercise, shopping, and other activities as desired. Regularly socializes with more than 10 unique individuals outside their home. May invite a small number of trusted visitors, like neighbors, close friends, or family members inside the home. Practices handwashing and wears masks sometimes. May not always maintain social distancing.

5: Very Open
Socializes without social distancing, masks, or recommended etiquette. Not taking any extra precautions to protect oneself from infection outside what is normal. Not personally concerned with being infected.

Image from https://theapna.org/

This article has been repurposed from GTM Payroll Services.

Safe and Sound on the Job

In today’s world, it’s important that childcare providers (sitters, nannies, etc.) are keeping the children and themselves as safe as possible. Here are some helpful quick tips to keep in mind while babysitting, and for a full list, read here.

1. Telephone Safety
Make sure you have a fully charged phone to call or text the parents if you have a question, or there is an emergency. Nothing is more stressful to a parent than the sitter not picking up or responding.
2. Personal Safety
Make sure you are healthy when you care for children and that you are aware of your surroundings (i.e., have the parent or doorman watch you get into a taxi or uber at the end of the night).
3. Danger from Strangers
Never leave the home without the children. Do not open the door for anyone you do not know unless it is communicated by the parent.
4. Other Safety Considerations
If you feel you or the child(ren) are unsafe in a situation, remove yourself and the child(ren) out of that situation.
5. Safety Inspection Checklist
Be predictive and prepared to prevent injuries, drowning, falls, etc.
6. Preventing Accidents and Injuries
Prevent it as much as possible by being present and aware. Recognize the problem and then fix it.
7. Being Prepared for Weather Emergencies
Be smart and proactive. If the weather is going to be bad before an appointment, reach out to the family and make sure they are still on, and come up with a plan to get home safely.
8. Violence or Crime

  • Be aware at all times!
  • Avoid drawing unwanted attention.
  • Know how to exit fast.
  • If you hear gun fire; lie down with the children for cover.
  • If the home looks like it has been broken into; do not enter. Call 9-1-1

9. Play it Safe!
Always watch a child at all times especially in and around water.
Firefighter
List pulled from the “American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Handbook”

What You Need to Know About Fevers

Cold and flu season is upon us, and with that comes a classic symptom – fever.

There are a lot of things to know about fevers, and we want to share some must have knowledge before your temperature starts rising.

What temperature is considered a fever?
A fever is any temperature above 100.4. A normal body temperature is anywhere between 97 degrees F and 100.3 degrees F.

Is there such a thing as a fever that’s too high?
There are no magic numbers with fevers. A child with a 104.5 degree fever isn’t necessarily sicker than one with a fever of 100.8. What matters most is the duration of the fever and your child’s behavior once the temperature comes down. In addition, if your child has a fever for more than three days we recommend that they see a doctor.

Are fevers dangerous?
Having a fever is your child’s natural response to fighting infection. Though fevers may feel scary, they are not usually dangerous. Remember, there are medications available to help bring down your child’s temperature so they can be more comfortable.

Should babies always receive medicine for fevers?
You do not have to give your child medication just because he/she has a fever. The fever itself is not dangerous. The reason behind giving them medication is to make him/her more comfortable. If your child has a temperature of 101, but is playing, drinking fluids, and running around, then you can wait and see how they do. If the child seems uncomfortable, it is a good idea to give him/her the medicine so they feel better. Acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) can be given every four hours. Ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Advil and Motrin) can be given every 6 hours once your child is over six months of age.

Can fevers give children brain damage?
Having a fever is the body’s physiologic response to fighting infection. Fevers will not “fry” or “melt” your child’s brain. There is a small subset of children who can have seizures with fever; these are referred to as febrile seizures. These events are uncommon and studies have shown many times that fever reducers do not prevent febrile seizures. If your child does have a febrile seizure you should call 911.

When should I seek medical attention?

  • The child is less than 2-months-old and has a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 degrees.
  • He/she has had persistent fevers for more than three days in a row.
  • He/she is very irritable, despite the fever having gone down.
  • He/she is extremely sleepy and you are having difficulty awakening them.
  • He/she is having trouble breathing.
  • You are not sure how to handle the situation (or you feel concerned about your child’s condition).

Remember, treating the fever with a fever reducer will bring down your child’s temperature, but does not take care of the underlying illness. It is likely that once the medication wears off, your child will have a fever again. In most cases, time, fluids, and fever reducers are all they will need to get back to their normal self.

Winter-standing

This blog was repurposed from Premier Pediatrics. For the complete post, click here

Stop Using Infant Sleep Positioners

Although devices designed to make bed-sharing safer have become more popular, recent research has sided against such devices.
“The US Food and Drug Administration is reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners. These products—sometimes also called ‘nests’ or ‘anti-roll’ products—can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death,” reads a recently published statement.
There are two styles in particular this relates to. One features raised supports or pillows (called ‘bolsters’) that are attached to each side of a mat, and the second one has a wedge to raise a baby’s head. Both positioners are intended to keep a baby in a specific position while sleeping, and are intended for infants under 6 months old.
The FDA has received reports of babies who were placed on their backs in these positioners, but later found in hazardous positions either within them or next to them. And more tragically, the FDA has received reports of suffocation-related deaths.
Remember, the safest sleep position for a baby is on their back on a firm surface free of any loose bedding, blankets, or stuffed animals.
Baby
This blog has been repurposed from TheBump.com

A Party with a Purpose

Drownings are the leading cause of death for children under four. What can help reduce this stat? Learning CPR.
Learning CPR is an easy activity that moms everywhere should partake in. There are a number of ways and locations where you can sign-up to learn CPR. Here are a few:
1. Online: if there is no location near you, become CPR certified through an online class.
2. American Red Cross: choose a location, select a class category, and then search for classes near you. They even have a class called Babysitting and Childcare.
3. Local Fire Department: for those living in NYC, FDNY offers free compressions-only CPR classes as part of its ongoing Free CPR Initiative.
What if there was one more way to learn CPR, and it was by having a party. Would you sign-up to learn?
CPR parties have been growing in apartments and homes everywhere. Imagine inviting other moms and friends to your home, along with a certified CPR trainer, and learning CPR right in your living room. That’s the exact idea of CPR parties – learning the life-saving skills of CPR and water safety education in a fast, fun and free environment.
To learn more about CPRParty™, visit their website and checkout their feature from Good Morning America!
CPR Party
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 13 – Stroller Safety

Welcome to volume 13 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.
This week we are featuring a training video on stroller safety!
Here are some fast stroller safety tips:
1. Make sure the brake is on when you place the baby/child in the stroller, and that you unlatch the brake when you are ready to push the stroller.
2. Make sure the child is properly dressed for the weather (take sunscreen on a warm, sunny day, make sure the child has a hat and warm jacket on a cold day, etc.). Check the temperature before you go outside.
3. Make sure all straps are properly fastened on the child before pushing the stroller.
4. If you are carrying heavy bags on the stroller, be careful the stroller does not tip backwards. It is best to keep items stored underneath the stroller.
5. If you need to stop and are on a decline or hill, make sure to use the brake for added support.
Read more from Parent’s Magazine on stroller safety here.
These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.
Stroller
Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Parental Phone Use Linked to Child Behavior?

The amount of screen time isn’t only something to be cautious of for children, but it’s also something to keep top of mind for parents. In a recent article published by The Bump, it discusses how a child’s behavior can be influenced by the parent’s relationship with their cellphone.
The study was conducted by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Illinois State University, and involved 170 two-parent households. The parents were asked to fill out a short survey, which included questions about 1) their use of smartphones, computers, tablets and other devices, 2) how this usage may interfere with family time, and 3) details about their child behavior issues within the last two months.
At the conclusion of the survey, 48% of parents said two or three technology interruptions were standard for a given day.

“We know that parents’ responsiveness to their kids changes when they are using mobile technology and that their device use may be associated with less-than-ideal interactions with their children. It’s really difficult to toggle attention between all of the important and attention-grabbing information contained in these devices, with social and emotional information from our children, and process them both effectively at the same time.”
Senior Author, Jenny Radesky, MD

At the end of the day, it may be challenging to make the direct correlation between technology interruptions and child behavior, but it’s certainly something to keep at the forefront of parents’ minds.
For the full article on thebump.com, click here.
Phone-1
Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 11 – Bath Time

Welcome to volume 11 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.
This week we are featuring a training video on bath time!
Here are some fast bath time tips to always keep top of mind:
1. Never leave a child alone in the bath even for a minute. Drowning can occur in even an inch of water. Just scoop the child up in a towel if you need to answer the door or tend to something else.
2. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Make sure there is a no-slip guard on the floor of the tub, and a towel or rug outside the tub, so when the child gets out he/she does not slip.
4. Don’t put too much water in the tub.
5. Teach the child to sit – no standing in the tub!
6. Use soaps and shampoos sparingly – they can dry out skin or cause irritation – less is more.
7. Keep electrical appliances away from the water.
Read more on baby (infants under 12 months) bath time tips here, and toddler (12-24 months) bath time tips here.
These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.
Bath
Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.