Some tips for choosing a good babysitter include checking references, ensuring they have at least a basic knowledge of first aid and CPR, and deciding on a minimum age requirement for the job. While age is not always a determinant of reliability, the American Red Cross suggests imposing a minimum age requirement of 11. Selecting a babysitter from within the family, or from one's circle of friends, can also help to ensure suitability, especially if those people have children of their own.
It is advisable to meet potential babysitters before choosing them to look after children. Ideally, the children should be present at this meeting so that there is the opportunity to assess how they interact with the babysitter.
Asking questions is important at this meeting in order to ascertain suitability. Things to find out include whether the babysitter would know what to do in the event of choking. Since the babysitter will also be implicitly responsible for the house while they care for the child, it is also important to make sure they know what to do in the event of a fire, flood, power outage or other household problem. Questions should also be asked to get an idea of the babysitter's attitude toward children.