Parents may struggle to find good babysitters during any given week, but during periods of high demand—such as during flu season—safe and reliable child care providers are at an even greater premium.
The Red Cross works year-round to prepare babysitters through its babysitter's 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.
In a survey administered by the Red Cross, 64 percent of respondents 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 American Red Cross also works with companies such as Sittercity.com to provide important health information to its extensive pool of caregivers, including a list of common flu symptoms and a flu preparedness checklist. 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.
To find out more, or to enroll in Babysitter’s Training, contact your local Red Cross chapter.