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Nanny 911 – Would You Call the Police on Your Babysitter?

53404clLast week on Babble, Shannon Rassmussen told us how to get and keep a quality babysitter. But what happens if the person you’ve already hired turns out not to be the person you thought they were?

Over at Motherlode, an anonymous mom tells her story: Her beloved nanny, described as a selfless young woman who is unusually skilled with children, is suspected of feeding the kids — one three, the other 16 months — Benadryl every day at nap time. The nanny has been fired, but the mom wonders if she’s got a responsibility to the nanny’s next family:

That said, we are extremely concerned that she will do this again to other children or she will again exercise poor judgment, and perhaps with much more harmful and endangering consequences. And, of course, there is part of us that wonders whether something even more harmful or insidious was going on — e.g. is this person we loved who we really thought she was? What could have possibly motivated her to do this?

Her motivation, and I’m not defending her here, was probably a quick and easy nap time. It was probably a trick she learned from her own mother, since “helping” kids to sleep, while no longer appropriate or even safe, was once a pretty common thing. I say that because I don’t think this sitter meant for anyone to get hurt, I just think she was being stupid and lazy.

She was also exceedingly lucky that neither child was harmed, but does the fact that no one got hurt mean that her mistake should go unchecked?

Most commenters at Motherlode are adamant that this mom should call the police and or child protective services, while others think that the mother should sit down with the nanny and explain why what she did could have had dire consequences. The mother is torn between her responsibility to other families and children, and not wanting to ruin this young woman’s life.

Where do you stand? Should she call the police? And have you ever had an issue with a nanny or babysitter that you felt needed to be reported?

More by this author:

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