Questions to ask before leaving your child with someone

Safeguard your child’s well-being by vetting caregivers and new environments. Prioritize safety by asking important questions and taking necessary precautions.

Is it abuse?

Even if you’re not sure, you are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect. Anonymous calls are accepted.

Kentucky: (877) 597-2331 (KYSAFE1)
Indiana: (800) 800-5556

If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
Norton Children’s Pediatric Protection Specialists, affiliated with UofL School of Medicine
Child protection team members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
(502) 629-6000

As child abuse rates in Kentucky remain higher than the national average, keeping children healthy and safe is every person’s priority. If you’re raising kids, are a caregiver for kids or spend time around kids — make a plan for how to deal with challenging times that are bound to happen. Here’s what you can do:

Before leaving your child with a new caregiver

  • Does this person have a history of getting easily frustrated with other adults, children or pets?
  • Has this person ever become physically violent or aggressive with you or anyone else?
  • Do they misunderstand, become frustrated or angry with normal childhood behaviors, such as crying, toilet training accidents or messes?
  • Does this person become upset or jealous of the time and attention you give your child?
  • Have you seen this person handle your child or any other child roughly?
  • Have you noticed patterned bruising, such as handprints, loop marks or U-shaped bruises on your child after being with this person?
  • If your baby is 4 months old or younger, have you noticed any bruising or injury, anywhere, after being with this person?
  • If your child is age 4 or younger, have you noticed bruising or injury to your child’s torso, ears, neck, jaw, cheeks or eyelids; bleeding on the whites of the eyes; or injuries inside the mouth after being with this person?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, reconsider leaving your child with this person.

Before leaving your child in a new place

  • Are firearms stored there? It’s important to ask this question. Firearms should be stored in a locked box or cabinet, out of reach, with ammunition stored separately.
  • Do they have over-the-counter or prescription medications? If so, all medications should be stored completely out of the child’s reach, ideally in a locked box.
  • Do they use tobacco products, marijuana or other drugs? Gain the caregiver’s assurance that they will not use any substance that can cause impairment while caring for your child. These products should be stored completely out of children’s reach and in a locked box.
  • Is there a safe place for a baby to sleep? Remember the ABCs of safe sleep: Babies should sleep alone, on their back, in a crib or other approved sleeping space, such as a playpen.