Awareness of childhood nutrition and safety plays a vital part in being a successful au pair. If you are working as an au pair, planning to become an au pair, or simply interested in childcare, this blog post is for you.

 

First off:

When you start a new job as an au pair, it is essential to find out as much about the family as you can. Most families will give you detailed guidelines to follow when it comes to nutrition and safety, but there is always the possibility that they may have overlooked something obvious.

 

Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition, make sure you have the answers to the following questions:

  • Will I be cooking the meals for the children? If not, who will be preparing the meals?
  • When are the mealtimes?
  • What do the children usually eat? Do they follow a meal plan?
  • Are there any food (and other) allergies I should know about?
  • Are there any food intolerances I should be aware of?
  • Are there any special dietary requirements I need to take into account?

 

Here are some nutrition tips to keep in mind if you are working with young children:

 

Nutrition - basic suggestions

 

Safety

When it comes to safety issues, it is essential for you to know exactly what you are expected to do in the event of an accident or injury. Even though most au pairs are allowed to use their discretion when dealing with health and safety issues, it is still advisable to take the time to communicate with the parents, so that you are aware of their boundaries and safety concerns.

It is a good idea to take a tour around the house with the parents to identify any health and safety hazards, so that you can reduce the risk of accidents.

You also need to make sure you have all the information you’ll need in case of an emergency. With this in mind, make sure you have the answers to the following questions:

  • Who should I contact in an emergency?
  • Where are the emergency contact numbers kept?
  • Where is the first-aid kit kept?
  • How do I use the telephone? Are there any special codes I need to dial?
  • What will the mode of transport be if I need to take the child(ren) to the doctor or to the hospital?
  • Is the family covered by medical aid/health insurance?
  • How will I pay for emergency medical expenses?
  • Is the child (or are the children) on any medication?
  • What is the family’s policy regarding doctors’ visits? Do I need to ask the parents for permission before taking the child to the doctor? What should I do if the family’s regular doctor is unavailable?

 

Here are a few basic first aid tips to follow in case of accidents and injuries:

Basic first aid tips

 

Want to find out more about how you can prepare yourself for working as an au pair? Click here