To help keep children of all ages safer in Orangeburg, the Greater Edisto Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering a new babysitter's training course. The first class, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, July 29 and 31, at the Greater Edisto Chapter, will give youths ages 11 to 15 the skills and confidence to be great babysitters.

"Our goal is to create a safe and supportive community for families," said Jeremy Jeffcoat, director of programs and services. "When parents hire trained babysitters who know how to provide proper child care and handle emergencies, their children are safer and so are our babysitters."

The Red Cross Babysitter's Training course is a great way for young people to build self-esteem and develop leadership, decision-making and communication skills, as well as give them a meaningful way to earn money.

Used to train and certify over 120,000 babysitters nationwide each year, the Red Cross Babysitter's Training course incorporates hands-on activities, role play and discussion.

The course teaches young people how to:

  • Supervise children and infants
  • Perform basic child-care skills, such as diapering, feeding and dressing
  • Choose safe, age-appropriate games and toys
  • Identify safety hazards and prevent injuries
  • Care for common injuries, such as burns, cuts and bee stings
  • Communicate effectively with parents
  • Find and interview for babysitting jobs

As a part of the $50 course fee, participants will receive newly revised training materials, including the "Babysitter's Training Handbook," with information to use in class and on the job; an "Emergency Reference Guide" that provides step-by-step instructions to handle common emergencies; and a CD-ROM that includes tools such as a printable activity booklet with games, songs and recipes, a resume template and more.

For more information or to register for the next babysitter's training course at the Greater Edisto Chapter, call Shandease Haygood at 803-534-5735. Space is limited; register by Thursday, July 23, to reserve a seat.

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