Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How and When to Use Nanny Cams Effectively and Reasonably

You have probably seen a few viral videos featuring shocking instances of child abuse and other bad behavior caught by a nanny cam. It’s hard not to worry about your own children after witnessing these events, and getting your own nanny cam is a great way to have some peace of mind. However, these cameras can also present a privacy issue. Read on to learn how you can use nanny cams effectively and reasonably.

Inform and Obtain Consent

To protect yourself from lawsuits, always inform hired help that you have nanny cams installed and obtain their consent. Consider typing up a written contract and have them sign it. What if your nanny, sitter or house cleaner refuses to consent to being filmed? This is a red flag that says the person has something to hide and shouldn’t be trusted in your home.

Common Areas Only

Keep your nanny cams and home security cameras in common areas like the living room and kitchen. Never place a camera in private areas like the guest room or bathroom. After all, you probably shouldn’t hire anyone you can’t trust in your bathroom in the first place. You should also make sure your cameras are clearly visible. Don’t hide them in common objects like toys, home decor or appliances.

Monitor the Nursery

Although cameras should normally be limited to common areas, a nursery or baby’s room is an exception because helpless infants can’t tell you everything that happened while they were with the babysitter. Set up your cameras to provide a full view of the crib and changing table and consider a third to cover the whole room. You can also purchase baby monitors with video that double as nanny cams.

Don’t Nitpick Footage

When you review your nanny cam footage, you’re likely to come across many small mistakes, but resist the urge to call your employee out on every little transgression. Nitpicking your nanny or sitter is a sure way to keep them from coming back and leave yourself without childcare. However, it’s time to cut ties with anyone you catch making major mistakes that put your children, pets or home at risk.

While nanny cams are a great way to protect your home and family, they’re not a necessity. Most families never have an issue when they choose a sitter they trust. Choosing sitters carefully and exercising precautionary measures like checking in often can be enough to ensure your children’s safety if you’re not comfortable with nanny cams.

Tim Esterdahl

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