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Babysitter’s Training Prepares Youth for Childcare Emergencies
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June 25, 2010

If you’ve ever dealt with a cranky toddler or had to change a squirmy infant’s diaper, you know childcare isn’t so easy. Luckily, young babysitters can learn to deal with those challenges, among others, through the American Red Cross.

Red Cross training can even help babysitters save a life, as 11-year-old Allison Wengerd did earlier this month.

Parents have more confidence in a babysitter trained by the Red Cross.

Allison and her family, including her 3-year-old sister Mya, were enjoying the day at a friend’s pool in Sugarcreek, Ohio, when Mya took off her arm floats and inflatable ring and jumped into the water. Minutes later, she was spotted floating face down, and Allison and her father quickly went into action.

Using CPR skills that she learned in a Red Cross babysitter’s course, Allison and her father successfully revived Mya.

Melissa Wengerd, the girls’ mother, told a local reporter, "We can't say enough about how important it is to take CPR, have your kids learn even if you think they're too young because you never know when it can help out."

In a recent Red Cross survey, of those who said they expect to hire a teenaged babysitter at some point this summer, 70 percent said they would have more confidence in a babysitter trained by the Red Cross.

Sixty-four percent said that if they had a choice, they would hire a Red Cross-trained babysitter instead of one who was not trained by the Red Cross.

The Red Cross babysitter’s training course is designed for 11- to 15-year-olds and covers six primary areas:

1.You’re the Boss: A Guide to Leadership — The fundamental leadership skills necessary for safe, effective babysitting, such as role modeling, respect, communication, decision making and taking action.

2.The Business of Babysitting — All the basics on the business of babysitting, including assessing babysitting skills, finding work, creating a resume, figuring out how much to charge, interviewing and professional behavior.

3.Safe and Sound on the Job — Extensive coverage of safety issues related to babysitting, including safe play, telephone and personal safety, dealing with strangers, fire safety, rural safety and safety in the kitchen. Participants also get tips for preventing common injuries and illnesses as well as preparing for weather emergencies.

4.Understanding Kids from 0 to 10 — Expanded childhood development and behavior section, including information on how to select developmentally-appropriate activities, guide children in safe and effective play, encourage positive behavior, appropriately correct misbehavior and handle common behavioral challenges.

5.From Feeding to Bedtime: Caring for Kids — All the essentials of basic child care: safe techniques for holding, carrying, feeding, diapering, dressing and bathing children and infants, as well as following bedtime routines and using good personal hygiene.

6.It’s an Emergency…Now What? — Covers how to care for first aid emergencies that babysitters are likely to encounter, such as bee stings, allergic reactions, asthma and burns. Participants also learn the following CPR and first aid skills: conscious check—child and infant; unconscious check—child; conscious choking—child and infant; rescue breathing—child and infant; and controlling external bleeding. Includes information on how to build your own babysitting kit.

Contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out if they offer babysitter’s training.


About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; 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 mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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