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Classes Help Teens Become 'Safe Sitters'

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RALEIGH — A group of young Triangle women are taking part in a national program that teaches 11- to 13-year-olds the skills of safe baby-sitting.

Twelve-year-old Meredith knows that being a baby sitter is not all fun and games. There is a lot of responsibility required -- especially if a youngster happens to get hurt or sick under her care.

That is why Meredith and other girls her age are taking a

Safe Sitter

class at WakeMed to learn how to handle emergencies.

"How to take care of them when they get cuts and when they're chocking on stuff," she says.

Bobbie Earnhardt, a pediatric nurse, and others volunteer their time teaching the classes.

Teens learn first aid, rescue breathing and Heimlich hugs. The bases are covered to handle everyday scrapes and bumps to the unexpected.

"They need to know that it's not a bad thing to need to call to get help," says Earnhardt. "It's a good thing that they recognize what the problem is that they can't handle everything themselves."

It is good advice that should help these girls land their next baby-sitting job.

The two-day classes are held around the state. To find one near you, check the

Safe Sitter

Web site.