1. Babysitting young children is an enormous responsibility.
When a child becomes a babysitter, they need to understand that when they look after a baby or young child, they have another person’s life in their hands. Little ones are vulnerable, unpredictable and accident-prone, and a babysitter cannot afford to let their guard down for a moment. Some things are common sense, but others, like first aid skills, must be learned.
As a young teen, I had no formal babysitting training. Looking back, I feel grateful I didn’t have to deal with any major emergencies while babysitting. I remember being excited about finally being old enough to babysit. My first job was with a family who lived on our street. The two boys I looked after, Robert and Charles, were five and seven years old. The worst thing I remember happening is my fountain pen leaking blue ink onto the pale green carpet, and calling my mother for advice.
2. Children need to learn basic first aid skills.
If Robert or Charles had choked on their food and stopped breathing or had a severe injury or medical emergency, I would not have known what to do. Those little boys might have died in my care. At age 14 I had no first aid training and I’d never given first aid to another person, other than applying a bandaid. When you have another person’s life in your hands, you need to know what to do if there are any problems with their airway, breathing or circulation – otherwise known as the ABCs. If a person’s airway is blocked and they can’t breathe, they will quickly become unconscious. Within a few minutes, the heart will stop, leading to brain damage. After 10 minutes without a heartbeat, the chances of survival are low.
Hopefully, all schools will provide first aid training for children as part of the curriculum one day. After all, first aid is an essential life skill. Until this happens, children should ideally learn these skills from a certified first aid instructor in a nationally recognized training course.
3. Children must learn how to be safe and confident when home alone.
As an adult, it’s easy to forget how scary it is for children to be left at home alone. It’s nerve-wracking to be given the responsibility of caring for one or more younger siblings. Not only do you have to keep yourself and your siblings alive, but there are also other things to worry about. You may be fearful about strangers at the door, how to answer the phone and what to do if there’s a house fire.
Parents have a responsibility to train their children to be safe when home alone. However, because many of us did not receive this kind of training from our parents, we may struggle with this. That’s where the Red Cross Babysitting course comes in.
The Canadian Red Cross Babysitting Course
The Canadian Red Cross Babysitting Course is for young children aged 11-15. The course instructor teaches children the skills they need to be excellent babysitters and how to be safer when home alone. Children learn how to care for babies and children of all ages and give first aid and what to do in the event of an emergency. The course also offers an overview of the primary responsibilities of being a babysitter and how youth can reduce the risks of specific incidents by practicing safety tips and learning essential child care skills.
Why do parents register children on a Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course?
Parents recognize that Babysitting training is an investment in their children’s safety. Some of the reasons why they register their kids on a Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course are listed below.
Red Cross Babysitting Course – Benefits to children and what they learn
People who hire babysitters rely on them to be the leader and keep their children safe. On a Red Cross Babysitting course, children learn about how to be a responsible leader, different leadership styles, role modelling, respecting diversity, recognizing child abuse and neglect and creating a babysitting kit.
Childhood Characteristics and Behaviour
In this section of the course, children learn about the stages of development for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school-aged children, babysitting for children with disabilities, assistive devices and service animals.
Creating Safe Environments and Personal Safety
Children learn to be safer when home alone. The instructor will teach them about dealing with strangers, when it’s safe to answer the door, how to answer the phone in a way that doesn’t put them at risk, what to do in the event of a fire, how to call EMS/911. Children learn about personal safety and security, online safety and bullying behaviours. Also included in this section is information about community safety, street safety, bicycle and scooter safety, water safety and rural babysitting.
Caring for Children
Caring for children at various developmental stages requires different skills. For example, carrying a baby is very different from holding a toddler. Babysitting course participants learn how to care for children at any age. They will learn how to change a diaper, feed babies and children of all ages, understand what kind of toys and activities are safe for each age group and which ones are not. They will learn about dressing, sleeping, playing, comforting, safe vs. unsafe touching and misbehaviour.
The instructor will teach participants about safety and the importance of supervision, and what information they should get from the child’s parent or guardian. Participants will learn about home safety, poison prevention and giving medications, home safety, suffocation and choking. After taking the course, children will be more confident to look after themselves and others.
First Aid Skills and Handling Emergencies
Children learn first aid skills, accident prevention, checking for hazards and calling EMS/911. Topics in this section of the course include choking, CPR, asthma, anaphylaxis, minor cuts and scrapes, splinters, life-threatening bleeding, nosebleeds, bumps and bruises, burns, head, neck and back injuries, broken bones, seizures, poisons, insect stings, sudden medical conditions or other medical emergencies
When your child has learned these skills, they are less likely to have an accident or suffer any injury and, they might save your life one day!
The Business of Babysitting
Children will learn how to find babysitting work safely. Topics include finding work, how to write a resume, how to prepare for the first babysitting job, expectations of the family who hire them, children’s expectations, self-evaluation after the job, their own family’s expectations.
Parents are reclaiming their social lives
Being a parent or guardian is a huge responsibility. Parents of young children often put themselves and their social lives on the back burner so they can stay home and care for their little ones. As children get older and more responsible, parents are able to claim back some time to re-kindle social activities. Having children take a recognized training course like the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting program speeds up this process and is a responsible thing to do. When your child has babysitting training, and experience you can go out for an afternoon or evening and enjoy yourself!
Virtual Babysitting courses have become very popular
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Red Cross created a virtual version of their traditional in-person Babysitting course. The virtual classroom option has quickly become popular. Classes are conducted via Zoom and there is a maximum of 15 children per class.
Babysitting is a great way for young people to give back to the community. They will gain valuable training and develop essential leadership skills. If you have any questions about the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting course please check out our FAQ’s via the link below or contact us. To register your child for a virtual Babysitting class, please follow the link below.