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Young adults learn babysitting skills

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Red Cross course offers training

By Ramsey Scott

Babysitting is the first real job for many young adults — but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one.

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Because of the challenges and responsibilities involved in caring for little ones, the Red Cross is committed to providing training for teens in everything from dressing a minor cut to performing CPR.

“It gives the parent a peace of mind that the babysitter has gone through training,” said Glen Bernard, a Red Cross instructor trainer. “The babysitter knows how to handle an emergency situation.”

A dozen young adults spent Saturday at the Bemis Library in Littleton working with Bernard on a Red Cross babysitting certification. The seven-hour course, which is recommended for ages 11 to 15 and costs $85, teaches babysitters how to deal with a variety of emergency situations, Bernard said.

“If I were a parent hiring a babysitter, I wouldn’t hire one that hadn’t gone through the course,” Bernard said. “… This course gives them the tools to handle what might happen.”

Vashti Padilla, 11, plans to volunteer at her church’s day camp this summer. She signed up for the course to prepare for any emergency that might occur.

“I learned how to be a responsible babysitter and how to help someone in a medical situation,” Vashti said. “I know how to check a pulse and how long to do breathing during CPR. I feel confident now I can help.”

Katelyn Rosales, 12, wants to start babysitting this summer.

“I thought it would be cool to learn how to do this,” Katelyn said. “I know how to save a kid from choking. Also, I learned how to listen if a baby is breathing.”

While Jerry Rivera, 12, wasn’t excited about taking the class — his mother signed him up — he said it turned out to be fun.

“It was pretty cool, actually,” Jerry said. “I have two sisters and a brother. I’m the oldest. It feels cool to know I can help them.”

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1035 and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check www.columbinecourier.com for updates.