Things to consider if you're getting a babysitter or leaving kids home alone

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - If you’re looking to hire a great babysitter this summer a new study says the national average hourly rate for one in more than $16 an hour. 

Some people use sitter search engines or know a friend, but the study done by Urban Sitter says babysitters are in high demand, meaning it could be hard to keep one. 

The group looked at 20,000 families across the country and found that the average babysitting rate per hour is $16.43 for just one child. 

For two the price jumps to $18.86 per hour. 

In Michigan it’s probably less since Chicago’s rate is $14.39. 

Stan Barnes with the Farmington Hills Fire Department says parents should make sure to do their research because a sitter should be able to understand safety requirements and be trained for any type emergency.

“Those babysitters should be able to do some of the basic functions that would require safety that would require care and even be able to take care of a scenario that may be emergent in the home,” Barnes says. 

There is no legal age when it comes to babysitting or leaving your child at home in the state of Michigan. 

According to the child protection law the general rule a child 10 years old and younger is not responsible enough. 

Barnes says they get call all the time for this problem. 

Some things you should do to make sure your child is ready to be home alone. 

  1. Have working smoke alarms
  2. Practice escape plans 
  3.  Scenario training 
  4. They should know how to call 9-1-1
  5. Have a meeting place 
  6. Set boundaries in your home

Barnes says six children ages 9 and younger have died in house fires this year in Michigan. 

“Talk to your children, let them know that since fires happen in the kitchen there’s a 3 feet safe zone at least and then children will know I am not allowed to go there,” he says. 

To learn more about being a certified babysitter contact your local fire department. 

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