Home    Subscribe    Contact    Login

Would You Leave Your Kids With a Skype Babysitter

by helenonthesofa (follow)
Check out my Weekend Notes articles here: www.weekendnotes.com/profile/160877
Internet (10)      Cyber Safety (10)      Baby Sitters (1)      Modern Parenting (1)      Skype (1)     
I likely should preface this article by saying that I am somewhat of a natural born worrier, but even putting this known personality trait aside, I think the recent news stories of kids being left alone in a house with a babysitter via Skype is pretty alarming stuff.

Photo: Stuart Miles, Freedigitalphotos.net


It's difficult to find the actual truth in the stories that have recently surfaced, with some reports stating a child as young as 4 was left alone with a grandparent babysitting via Skype, and other reports mentioning 7 year olds being left alone with Skype sitters. The truth that is coming out, however, is that young children are being left alone, and that a Skype sitter is the only supervision that they are being left with.

I should explain that this is a totally different situation to families using Skype to connect with family members far away. We use Skype in our house and on an almost weekly basis, my pre-schooler will sit happily chatting to his grandparents, often with me just in the background getting some chores done. The key thing here is that I am in the background, I have not left the building. Contrast this to the young child, left home alone with grandparents or other family member, who are 'babysitting' via Skype or Face time or some other means of video conferencing. I'll admit, that I am sure this Skype interaction would definitely hold the attention of many young children but shoot me if I am wrong but Skype sitters cannot:

Provide emergency attention should a situation warrant it.
Cannot prevent an accident happening even if they can see it on screen.
Provide first aid treatment, should a choking incident occur.
Get refreshments for the child that is being looked after.
Settle a child for their nap or bedtime sleep.
Stop a child from opening a door, getting outside or getting into potentially hazardous situations.

What if there is a power cut, or worse a fire? The overactive worrier in me can likely think of many much worse situations, but that's enough food for thought for now.


Is It Even Legal

The law in Australia is a little hazy on this topic, as there is no actual clarity on what age a child can or can't be left on their own. However, what the law does state is that parents are responsible to make 'reasonable' decisions about their child's safety and it is their responsibility to look after their children with this in mind. Parents are expected to ensure children are fed, clothed, have a place to live and moreover that they are kept safe and have suitable supervision. Based on these assumptions, I'd be hedging my bets that a Skype sitter might not pass the test as the provision of suitable supervision particularly in younger children.

As a side note, the NSPCC (National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children) in the UK provides the following guidance:

Children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time
Children under 16 shouldn't be left alone overnight
Babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone

So for my part, even though I'd like more nights out with my husband, even though it might be nice to get to the gym a bit more often, I'll be waiting on a real life human baby sitter to help me out, and will save the fun of Skype time for when I am present and accounted for. At least until the kids are old enough to fend for themselves.

Would you leave your kids with a virtual sitter?

#Baby Sitters
#Internet
#Modern Parenting
#Cyber Safety
#Skype
I like this Article - 6
[ print friendly ]
Share: email  facebook  twitter
More Articles by helenonthesofa
If you're thinking of toilet training your little one, here are some of the signs that they may or m...
323 views
Peppa Pig is a cheerful children's TV show with 5 minute episodes featuring the lives and adventures...
480 views
There are simply hundreds of apps out there to help give parents more resources at their fingertips...
153 views
There's so much to do when you bring your new baby home, and when you're also sleep deprived, thinki...
485 views
When you are pregnant, it is a common symptom to feel hot and this combined with the extra pregnancy...
186 views
When you have a child, people will give you lots (and lots) of advice
4 answers
view all articles by helenonthesofa
Articles by helenonthesofa on Other Hubs
My Google Plus Profile
ID: 13500
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
When the clocks change, or in summer months, it can be difficult if your baby wakes extra early ...
3406 views
If you're looking for cheap baby goods for your baby, here are some excellent stores you can go to t...
9458 views
One way of cutting the cost of having a baby is to get some of your baby items second hand
7767 views
Letís be honest; everything you could ever need to know can be found on the internet
1922 views
Most preschoolers love telling jokes but don't always 'get' the punch line or might instead tell...
by Jane
1758 views
Let me begin by pressing rewind and explain how our bed time battles began
995 views
I love crystals and have a few in my collection, so when junior got a Crystal Growing Kit for Christ...
1543 views
If your little one has bad nappy rash, they probably feel totally miserable
4 answers
Not sure what an unplugged childhood is? Perhaps think back to your own childhood, free of iPads, s...
698 views
Have you ever found yourself up in the middle of the night with a sick child? They might have a ragi...
6768 views
Categories
Parenting (156)
Play (88)
Tips (47)
Eating (32)
Travel (27)
Safety (23)
Sleep (11)
Featured on Other Hubs
 
Copyright 2012-2018 On Topic Media PTY LTD. ABN 18113479226. mobile version