As the youth of our community begin to mature, they often try to prove their maturity to their parents. Too young to drive, but too old to be content with allowance money, often times adolescents try to take on responsibility that could potentially lead to a dangerous situation.
Most of the time the only work available for kids under the age of 15 is baby-sitting for a neighbor or friend of the family.
Clinical and Community Health Coordinator Andrea Baysinger, St. Vincent Clay Hospital, will be instructing Safe Sitter classes for boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 13 on Dec. 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the hospital. The program costs $35. Call 442-2740 to register before the Wednesday, Dec. 21 deadline.
The program teaches adolescents the procedures and safety guidelines needed when caring for a child. Adolescents will learn baby-sitting business skills, how to diaper, feed, comfort and entertain children, but most importantly how to perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver on babies and children.
Macy Mayle, 13, graduate of the program, said that, "(The program) helped me feel a lot safer when I baby-sat my little cousins. My best friend also took the classes and it was a lot of fun."
Taylor Mikles, 14, graduate of the program, said that, "The program answered a lot of questions that I had."
Both graduates are still baby-sitting and using what they learned. They hope they won't have to use CPR or the Heimlich maneuver, but they are prepared for it.
After completing the course, Safe Sitters will be prepared to handle almost every situation that could arise while baby-sitting.
According the Web site, www.safesitter.org, Safe Sitter was founded in 1980 by an Indianapolis pediatrician, Dr. Patricia A. Keener, after a co-worker's 18-month-old child choked to death while under the supervision of an adult sitter.
Since then, Safe Sitter has become a program that is taught all over the U.S. and England. It's purpose is to help teenage sitters to avoid possibly fatal or dangerous situations.
Even if your adolescent is baby-sitting already, the course can offer new insight to their career.
If your child is not yet in the age range, Safe Sitter classes will be offered again in the summer.