How prepared is your teenaged babysitter? Maybe more—or less—than you thought.
A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that while almost all 13-year-old babysitters know who to contact if there is an intruder or a child is sick, injured or poisoned, 40 percent of younger babysitters reported that they had left children unattended while babysitting, and 20 percent opened the door to strangers.
The American Red Cross babysitter’s training course provides extensive coverage of safety issues such as these. A Red Cross survey also showed that the majority of parents (70 percent) would have more confidence in a babysitter trained by the Red Cross.*
Designed for 11- to 15-year-olds, the one-day course 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.
*Telephone survey of 1,018 U.S. adults 18 years and older was conducted March 26-29, 2010 by Infogroup | ORC. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.