Parents may struggle to find good babysitters during any given week. Now that schools are closing in several areas of the U.S. due to swine flu (H1N1 flu outbreak), safe and reliable childcare providers are in even higher demand.
Companies such as Sittercity.com are helping to fill this need, and the American Red Cross is working with them to provide important health information to its extensive pool of caregivers, including a list of common flu symptoms, a flu preparedness checklist, and tips for coping emotionally with the flu. Sittercity.com is the country’s largest and most trusted online source for child care, pet care, senior care, home care and tutoring, and has a network of more than a million caregiver profiles nationwide.
The Red Cross also works year-round to prepare babysitters through its Babysitter Training course, which is offered by local Red Cross chapters. Designed for 11- to 15- year-olds, the course can be completed in just one day and includes information on how to:
- Care for children and infants.
- Be a good leader and role model.
- Make good decisions and solve problems.
- Keep the children you babysit and yourself safe.
- Handle emergencies such as injuries, illnesses and household accidents.
The course also covers health topics such as how germs can be transmitted among children; knowing when hand washing is needed; and why the babysitter’s and child’s hands must be kept clean when babysitting.
To enroll in Babysitter Training, contact your local Red Cross chapter.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.