Getting Prepared with the Babysitter’s Training Course

By Lauren Lindstrom, Communications Intern, American Red Cross

Summer is upon us, and with it the busy schedules of area families. Many of us are out enjoying summertime freedoms, providing more opportunities for area kids to babysit the children of friends and neighbors.

The American Red Cross offers the Babysitter’s Training Course for youth ages 11-15, offering them the opportunity to learn crucial childcare skills and gain the confidence to provide a safe and fun environment while babysitting.

The full-day course covers the basics of caring for infants, toddlers and older children, as well as choosing fun and age-appropriate games and toys.

Green Bay native Ava Baenen recently took advantage of the opportunity to hone her babysitting skills. The 11-year-old received her Babysitter’s Training Certificate on May 19 with two friends.

“It was probably the first time I changed a diaper,” Ava said, adding she learned the proper techniques for feeding and caring for kids of all ages and how to deal with discipline issues. “If there are kids being stubborn, we learned how to solve those problems.”

Most importantly, the Babysitter’s Training Course teaches important safety skills, such as CPR and how to respond if someone is choking.

Ava says she feels more prepared to handle new situations when caring for children. She hopes everyone looking to babysit takes the course.

“It’s a great experience, you learn a lot, and it’s fun!”

The course costs $85, which includes a participant manual and CD-ROM. You may find upcoming courses near you by visiting www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Learn to be the best babysitter: Fox 11 Good Day WI Segment

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The American Red Cross has revised its babysitting course to include hands-on activities, exciting videos, role-playing and discussion groups.

Course participants will learn how to:

* Supervise children and infants
* Perform basic child care skills such as diapering and feeding
* Choose safe, age-appropriate games and toys
* Handle bedtime and discipline issues
* Identify safety hazards and prevent injuries
* Care for common injuries and emergencies such as choking, burns, cuts and bee stings
* Communicate effectively with parents

To find a course near you call your local Red Cross or log onto: www.newredcross.org