The hospital will be hosting Safe Sitter Classes Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the chapel adjacent to the main lobby. The fee for the two-day course is $40.
Instructor Cathy Bruce said WBMC’s association with the national babysitter training not-for-profit dates back to 1996.
The curriculum was developed by pediatrician Patricia Keener in 1980 after she was called to an Indianapolis emergency room to help an 18-month-old girl who had choked on her breakfast. The child died because her adult sitter had not known what to do.
The program is designed for sitters age 11 to 15 and teaches skills necessary to care for infants through teens.
Bruce said handling medical emergencies and minor injuries such as scratches and nose bleeds are among the dozens of topics covered by Safe Sitter.
“We not only teach CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and rescue breathing, we also teach things like looking at the house to make sure guns are put up, how to handle conflict if the kids are fighting and to keep them away from water because kids can drown in anything,” Bruce said.
Participants also learn how to keep themselves safe during sitting jobs and are even given a safety signal to alert their parents that they need help.
Bruce added that the hospital takes precautions to protect local sitters as well.
“We do not publish names or give out information of baby sitters because we are trying to keep our sitters safe as well,” she said.