ABOVE: Photos by Jim Davis / Murfreesboro Parks and Rec
Murfreesboro Parks and Rec. added a new program to their long list of summer camps this year called Ultimate Babysitter’s Club.
Child and babysitting safety plus CPR/AED along with basic first aid were the core of the course. All programs offered by the American Safety and Health Institute.
“Some of the girls in the camp were not the actual age that they would be officially babysitting but several said they had younger siblings, cousins or neighborhood kids they watched when the grownups were busy,” said Allison Davidson who was the class instructor and is also the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at Sports*Com.
“We also had a few who had done some babysitting. They felt that in addition to learning more skills that having the certification they would receive at the end of the course would let parents know that they were qualified and able to care of their children.”
The first part of the week the class members were taught babysitting skills and safety and the second portion of the week was devoted to learning CPR and AED for adults, children and infants. First aid instructions were included on how to take care of cuts, burns, broken bones, allergic reactions and more.
Another part of the curriculum of the class was to help each girl determine if they were ready to babysit on their own, how they could safely find babysitting jobs, handle issues such as discipline with a child or how to handle scared children. Also determine when to call their own parents for advice while babysitting or when it is time to call the child’s parents. The basic business end of being a babysitter was covered such as how much to charge, how to decide appropriate babysitting jobs, scheduling and communicating skills between themselves and the child’s parents.
“My main goal for the class was to give the girls confidence in their ability to handle situations when they were in charge and alone,” said Davidson. “I wanted them to feel comfortable with being the authority figure with younger children and know how to handle emergency situations.”
“The girls in the class are at an age where they could understand the information given them and could appreciate the seriousness of the situations that were covered. Many of the baby sitting safety skills are useful for kids left at home alone or when their parents are out of range.”
Haley Burt was one of the class participants. “My brother plays travel ice hockey and I sometimes help watch some of the kids while the mom’s are watching the game,” said Burt who is 12-years old and a rising six-grader at Rockvale Middle School. “This class has taught me CPR for children to adults, how to feed and diaper children and do a lot of things when it comes to first aid.
“The main thing is that it has help me feel more confident and safe when I do babysit. I have not done any babysitting by myself but I know that I can do it now. The whole process of babysitting is more that just being there. The CPR, first aid and what to do in emergencies plus everything else we learned this week will help in more than in babysitting.”
At the end of the week each student as certified in infant and child CPR/AED, and first aid as well as Child and Babysitting Safety.
“The CPR/AED and first aid skills are obviously good for everyday life at all ages,” added Davidson. “I know that these girls ended this class with useful information and skills that will help them be able to take care of themselves as well as others.”