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Adventures in babysitting

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Red Cross teaches kids to care for kids

By Gina Clear

When parents have to leave the care of their children in someone else’s hands, there can be concerns about the capability of the care provider.

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The American Red Cross is helping put those fears to rest by offering babysitting training courses to students ages 11 to 15.

On Tuesday, the Hardin-LaRue County chapter began a two-day babysitting training course to help 14 students better understand the responsibilities of caring for a younger child.

“I hope that they learn the responsibility and the directions of how not only to care for the children but how to keep them active,” said Patricia Sidebottom, American Red Cross instructor.

The course focuses on proper care for children and infants, being a good leader and role model, making good decisions and solving problems, keeping children and the babysitter safe, and how to handle emergencies such as injuries, illnesses and household accidents.

According to Sidebottom, students have different reasons for taking the course.

“A lot of the students want to get into babysitting for financial reasons,” she said. “A lot of it is because they have siblings at home or other family members that have siblings.”

For most students, the course could mean the potential of gaining a babysitting job because they learn the skills parents want in a caregiver.

“This class is showing me the skills to babysit and how to use them in babysitting,” Abby Rumer, 11, said.

Others are using it as a chance to explore their interest in the job.

“I like babysitting and wanted to know more about caring for little kids younger than age 4,” Jordan Brown, 12, said.
Olivia Kaelin, 12, joined because she likes kids and thought the course would give her the opportunity to learn more about caring for them.

“I love little kids and wanted to learn how to take care of them,” she said.

Still others are hoping it prepares them for their future.

“I wanted to learn how to take care of a baby when I grow up,” said Chidi Akukwe, 11, the only boy in this course. “I want to learn how to treat a baby and how to make good decisions based on what they and the parents I want them to do.”

With all the lessons available to students through the course, Sidebottom hopes they grasp one in particular.

“My hope is that they feel confident enough in caring for the children that if there is an actual emergency, whether it be first aid, CPR or another emergency, that they have the confidence in themselves to babysit in any situation,” she said.

Two more sessions are offered in July. In Elizabethtown, the course is on July 13-14 and at Fort Knox the class is July 28-29. Registration is $55. To enroll, contact the American Red Cross Hardin-LaRue Chapter office at (270) 765-4979.

“It’s fun,” Sidebottom said. “I love these classes.” 

Gina Clear can be reached at (270) 505-1740 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.