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Hero Nannies: Caregivers who put themselves in harm’s way to keep kids safe

By now you have probably heard last week’s horrific news of a nanny on Manhattan’s Upper West Side allegedly killing two children in her care. The story is unthinkable, and has prompted some parents to second-guess their choice to employ a nanny (and has brought out of the woodwork a disturbing number of disgusting, judgmental comments hurled at parents who use paid child care.)

Yes, occasionally people do horrible things that we may never be able to explain. (And not just nannies, either: I also consider hurling disgusting, judgmental comments at grieving parents pretty horrible.) But these cases are isolated and bizarre. What about the many cases of nannies and babysitters who show bravery, kindness and selflessness while looking after the children in their care?

Case in point: this nanny story is, in part, so shocking because you so rarely hear about something like this happening. On the other hand, Google “nanny rescues child” and you’ll find dozens of pages of stories highlighting cases of nannies putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the children they care for. Here are a few great examples of heroic nannies:


  • Cindy Gaston saves four-year-old boy from runaway Jeep 1 of 8
    Cindy Gaston saves four-year-old boy from runaway Jeep
    When a stolen Jeep careened toward her and the four-year-old boy in her care, nanny Cindy Gaston acted quickly, lifting the child and carrying him out of harm's way while getting injured herself. Image credit: The Daily Mail
  • Alyson Myatt rescues 5-year-old from burning home 2 of 8
    Alyson Myatt rescues 5-year-old from burning home
    When five-year-old Aden Hawes' Kentucky home caught fire, his nanny, 22-year-old Alyson Myatt, ran barefoot through the flames to save him, sustaining serious burns. "I didn't even think about me getting hurt or getting burned," Myatt told reporters. Image credit: MSNBC.com
  • Nosrat Dezfoulian sustains head injuries while trying to save toddler from falling gate 3 of 8
    Nosrat Dezfoulian sustains head injuries while trying to save toddler from falling gate
    Nanny Nosrat Dezfoulian suffered head injuries while trying to protect the toddler in her care when a metal roll-down gate suddenly collapsed on them both in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood. image credit: The Gothamist
  • Kaitlyn McGrath rescues celebrity trainers’ son from carjacker. 4 of 8
    Kaitlyn McGrath rescues celebrity trainers' son from carjacker.
    The one-year-old son of Chris and Heidi Powell, star trainers from Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, was saved from a carjacking thanks to the quick thinking of 20-year-old nanny Kaitlyn McGrath. image: ABC Nightline
  • Jennifer Anton pushes toddler out of the path of a sanitation truck 5 of 8
    Jennifer Anton pushes toddler out of the path of a sanitation truck
    When Chicago nanny Jennifer Anton saw a huge sanitation truck rushing toward her and 20-month-old Tyler Jones, she quickly shoved the stroller carrying Tyler out of harm's way - but Anton's legs and pelvis were shattered by the impact. image: CBS Local Chicago
  • Nanny saves child from coyote 6 of 8
    Nanny saves child from coyote
    A nanny in Chino Hills, California plucked a two-year-old girl from the jaws of a coyote as it was trying to carry her off into the woods. Image: MorgueFile
  • Liz Weber saves twin toddlers from house fire 7 of 8
    Liz Weber saves twin toddlers from house fire
    When a home in Colonie, NY went up in flames, babysitter Liz Weber reacted quickly, snatching one-year-old twin girls from their cribs and rushing them to safety. Image: Morguefile
  • Sandra Samuel saves little boy in the midst of a terrorist attack 8 of 8
    Sandra Samuel saves little boy in the midst of a terrorist attack
    When terrorists attacked the Chabad House (a Jewish community center) in Mumbai, India, only two people made it out alive: two-year-old Moshe and his nanny, Sandra Samuels, who lifted him from between his parents' bodies and risked her life to carry him to safety. image: The Telegraph
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