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Babysitting 101

By Staff | Jun 5, 2009

Carleen Shively participated in the Golden Heart Services babysitter course last week because a good babysitter must always be prepared, she said.

Shively and two dozen other youth took part in the two-day workshop in Rugby to learn important skills needed to become a capable babysitter.

Angel Hoffert of Golden Heart Services, one of the class coordinators, said topics covered included learning basic first aid as well as infant, child and adult CPR.

The class also taught the babysitters how to properly wrap and feed an infant and change a diaper. Other important lessons included learning age- appropriate games, how to handle unruly children and choosing healthy snacks.

There is more to babysitting than just watching over a child. Babysitters should be willing to engage the children create a fun atmosphere.

Videos, hands-on demonstrations using baby dolls and role playing were all used in the workshop, Hoffert said.

The class also learned when it was appropriate to call an ambulance and how to call 911 and what questions to be prepared to answer. A mock 911 call was made, with participation from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. An emergency scenario was arranged and a call went into the sheriff’s department.

“They (department) handled it like a regular 911 call, and the students learned the questions that would be asked by an emergency dispatcher,’ Hoffert said.

Babysitting offers adolescents a chance to earn some money, or the chance to help out at home by watching younger siblings.

Camille Klein and Hannah Walsh, babysitters taking the course, said many times they watch over younger brothers and sisters, and learning more skills will make them better babysitters.

This is the seventh year the course has been offered. A $40 registration fee paid for materials and training. This year six boys were part of the group. Hoffert said the course doesn’t often have many boys participate, so six was an encouraging number.

Cindy Voeller and Marnie Olson were also class instructors.

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