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Would You Hire an 11-Year-Old Babysitter?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

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I bet a lot of you moms out there grew up babysitting, and started at an age that today would be considered frighteningly young. I had my first paid job when I was 9—and it was the real deal, feeding a 5-year-old dinner, putting her to bed, and hanging out for hours afterward. I had three younger sisters and was a generally responsible kid, but still—THE DAY I would ever hire a 9-year-old to watch my 5-year-old daughter! It’s laughable to me now.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with research on how well 11- to 13-year-old babysitters are able to handle emergencies. Virtually all of them—98%—know who to contact in the event of an intruder (anyone else scared for the kids in the care of the 2% who don’t?). Slightly fewer—96%—know who to call when a child is injured. Only 85% knew who to get in touch with when a child is poisoned.

The more worrisome stats were these: 40% of these sitters admitted to having left kids unattended, and 20% opened the door to strangers.

So all of this begs the question above: Would you hire an 11- to 13-year-old to babysit your child? Take our poll, and let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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