Be Careful Who Cares for Your Child

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taking_care_of_a_child_300x300When choosing a caregiver, parents should select someone who:

  • Has experience caring for babies and young children
  • Is patient and mature enough to care for a fussy, overexcited or crying baby
  • Understands that young children must always be watched
  • Will never shake, hit, yell at, make fun of, or withhold food from a child as punishment
  • Does not abuse alcohol or drugs, or carry a weapon, and will not surround a child with others who may be drinking, using or selling drugs, or carrying weapons.

There are warning signs of a potentially dangerous caregiver include someone who is:

  • Angry or severely impatient when children have tantrums, cry or misbehave
  • Violent and/or controlling with their partners
  • Physically or verbally abusive with children
  • An abuser of alcohol and drugs, including marijuana
  • Using prescription medications that have bad side effects or make them drowsy, or
  • Not trust worthy for any reason

No matter how angry or frustrated you feel when your baby or toddler cries, and no matter how much he or she cries, never shake your baby or toddler. Shaking can cause bleeding in the brain that can injure or even kill a child. It takes only a few seconds of shaking to seriously hurt a baby’s developing brain.

  • Never Shake Your Baby
  • Make sure he or she isn’t hungry, wet, cold or hot
  • Offer a pacifier
  • Walk around holding the baby close to you, in your arms or in a carrier. Talk or sing to him
  • Call a trusted friend, relative, or neighbor to talk to or ask someone to come over and keep you company
  • When all else fails, put your baby in the crib. Make sure she’s safe. Check in every five minutes or so. It is much better to let the baby cry than to do something that may be harmful to stop the crying



  • The Parent Helpline at 800-342-7472 or visit
  • Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Hotline 800-621-HOPE (800-621-4673), TDD (Hearing Impaired) 866-604-5350
  • NY Foundling’s Family Crisis Center at 888-435-7553
  • Help for depression, alcohol and drug problems, 800-LifeNet (800-543-3638 )
  • To Report child abuse and neglect call 800-342-3720 or 311

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