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Health Team

Classes teach young baby sitters to handle emergencies

Posted June 3

Since she was just 3, Emma Rose Church has watched her mom, WakeMed pediatric nurse Michelle Davis, teach a class called Safe Sitters.

“What we stress in Safe Sitter is that when you take the responsibility of a baby-sitting job, you take the responsibility of the child's life,” Davis said.

WakeMed offers the one-day class for students ages 11 to 13 to learn proper child-care skills and how to handle emergencies, such as choking.

Emma, who turns 11 in July, soon will be old enough to take the class. Meanwhile, she has practiced at home with her younger sister, while her mom was home.

“Some things you don't think that they can reach or put in their mouth,” Church said. “They're taller than you think they are.”

Choking can happen, so Emma wants to know how to remove the object from the child's airway - first with thrusts on the back, and then on the chest. The class teaches baby sitters to call 911 for more help if the child is not responsive.

Sitters also need to know some CPR techniques in case a baby stops breathing. Just as important are all the things a sitter should ask the parents of the child they're caring for, such as when to show up for the job, contact numbers and how they will get home.

The class includes a book that the young sitters can review and take with them on the job.

“And it reminds them of everything we've talked about,” Davis said.

With the training and professional attitude, the sitter may even be able to ask for more-than-average pay.

Visit WakeMed for more information about the classes, which are offered in Raleigh and Cary and cost $50.

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