Many childcare providers, nannies, and babysitters don't have any first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) qualifications. As a result, children are at a high risk of accidents, some of which could be life-threatening. Everyone needs basic first aid and CPR certification courses, and babysitters should be on the front line in getting the basic child care training to take care of children.
As a parent, your children are a big part of life as they give you a reason to live and face life's challenges. They hold your hope for the future, and you'd not want anything bad to happen to them. It's the wish of all parents to take care of their children independently, but this can't be possible, especially for a working parent or parent with lots of business engagements. If you are too busy to take care of your children, your only option would be to hire a babysitter.
What to Look for in a Babysitter?
By their nature, children are ever curious and restless. They want to move around and play with anything they come across. And everything they lay their hands on will end up in their mouths. For this reason, they are more prone to accidents than adults. Accidents are inevitable because no one can watch a child 24/7. As a result, a child may fall, cut, or swallow an object. For this reason, they need a babysitter who will not only work to prevent these accidents but also know what actions to take when the accidents occur.
CPR and first aid training for babysitters is an assurance that, should a life threatening emergency arises, they'll know how to go about it and provide appropriate solutions. In addition, they'll know the most appropriate action to take if it's something they can't handle.
Medical emergencies can be fatal, and the first steps taken by the babysitter can save the child's life. Professional medical practitioners may not arrive in time, and while they are on the way, the child will be in the hands of the babysitter. What the babysitter does during this waiting time can mean a lot to your child's life.
That's why before you hire a babysitter, ask them to provide proof of the baby care course(s) they undertook. Baby care courses are crucial to babysitters and to anyone who handles babies, including parents, nannies, au pairs, family members, grandparents, etc. The most important courses for babysitters are first aid and CPR. In these courses, the babysitters learn how to deal with bleeding, fracture, burns, poisoning, stings, bites, fevers, fits, choking, drowning, etc.
They are taught how to behave in case of an emergency situation so they don't worsen the situation.
First Aid Training
First aid skills are essential for babysitters who work with children suffering from allergies, asthma, epilepsy, and other ongoing conditions. Children with special needs are also best to be left in the hands of babysitters with first aid skills. The first aid certificate or the online first aid certification should be current to show that the holder undergoes continuous training program. Babysitters' first aid training is vital for your child's safety and well-being.
Caring for a baby is an essential responsibility a babysitter can ever face. Children are very vulnerable, which explains why they need constant attention to remain healthy and secure. Unfortunately, trained babysitters can only provide such a level of care. That's why it's essential to ensure whoever takes care of your baby has basic first aid techniques.
CPR is administered to individuals who have experienced cardiac arrest or other respiratory issues. It is a procedure used to resuscitate a person whose heart has stopped beating or a person who has stopped breathing. CPR must be administered correctly and as fast as possible because, after such an incident, a victim may only have a few seconds or minutes to live.
To be successful, CPR must be administered by a trained individual. Therefore, your babysitter needs to have some basic CPR skills. It may look simple because it involves chest compression, but whoever is administering it must do it correctly to keep the baby's blood circulation and restore breathing by pumping oxygen into the child's lungs.
This is a matter of life and death and shouldn't be taken lightly. Unfortunately, in the United States, about 1000 people die daily after suffering from cardiac arrest. This happens because cardiac arrest occurs when there's no one nearby with CPR skills to help them. If your child has a medical condition resulting in breathing problems or cardiac arrest, insist on a babysitter who knows how to administer CPR.
How CPR is administered to adults is almost similar to how it is administered to children. However, if hiring a babysitter, ensure her training covers CPR tailored towards caring for toddlers, newborns, and infants. Children are more prone to choking because they like putting things into their mouths. Choking can lead to death if not handled professionally. That's why when hiring a babysitter, ensure she can handle such an emergency.
Choking isn't the only reason a child's breathing or heartbeat may stop. Some other reasons that may stop breathing/heartbeat and necessitate CPR include:
- Lung disease
- Head trauma or other head injuries
- Blood infection
- Electrical shock
Your babysitter must be able to identify these causes and decide fast enough which course of action to take. In some cases, CPR alone may not be enough.
After CPR, the child may need to be to a specialist for a medical checkup and treatment. These are the decisions your babysitter should make since the above issues may happen while you are away.
Why does Your Babysitter need to Learn CPR?
Some people think babysitters don't need to have CPR skills. They believe highly trained medical professionals can only administer CPR. Some also believe a situation can't arise where they will need CPR. But as has been stated, children are curious and always seem restless, jumping from one place to another. You never know when a disaster can strike. One moment, the child is ok and busy playing; the next, you hear him groaning. You rush to check only to find he has touched a live electric wire, has worn a tight polythene bag over his head, or has swallowed the rat poison you forgot to keep safely.
Such situations cannot wait for emergency medical services. Even if you call emergency services, it will take several minutes before the paramedics arrive, depending on the situation on the road.
Cardiac Arrest in Children
According to medical experts, a cardiac arrest victim will start developing brain tissue damage (death) within four minutes of the cardiac arrest. The brain damage will be irreversible ten minutes after cardiac arrest emergency.
Most cardiac emergency victims (over 95%) die before they reach the hospital. Some of these lives could have been saved if people around these victims during the cardiac arrest had some basic CPR skills. When your child suffers cardiac arrest, the time wasted while waiting for a paramedic means his chances of survival will diminish.
A trained babysitter can save the situation. She can perform first aid to ensure the child is stable before calling for help. This way, even if the paramedics delayed, the child would be out of danger. A few minutes after a child's poisoning, drowning, taking poison, burning, etc., matters a lot for his survival. Any delay is like passing a death sentence on your child.
Where to take CPR Certification Classes for Babysitters?
CPR and First Aid classes for babysitting job can be taken through online courses, classroom training, or private class. Many CPR training providers and training centers, like USCPROnline, allow you to learn lifesaving skills through online training classes at your convenience. Upon successful completion of training materials and passing the CPR certification exam, you will get your digital certificate or completion card valid for 2 years via email. The actual certification card and wallet card will be delivered to you by mail within 2-5 business days.
Even if you hire a trained babysitter, there is certain information you'll have to provide so she can operate efficiently. You want to ensure she has everything she needs to care for the child. Make sure your babysitter has the following information.
- Your phone number and that of your spouse
- Your office contacts
- The contact of a family or trusted friend
- Emergency contact information – Family dentist and doctor, poison control, local hospitals, etc.
- The house fire plan
- Child's medical information, including allergies
- Child's food and drinks
- House rules
- Child's activity schedule
- List your child's essential items and where you keep them
- Information about where you are going
- Bedtime routine
- What thermostat temperature is ideal
- Security system codes and settings
- Nearby gas stations, coffee shops, and stores, if necessary
- Any other information you feel can enhance the security of your child and the babysitter.
As you can see, you can expose your child to a high level of risk if you hire a babysitter who's not first aid and CPR-trained. Take your babysitter hiring process seriously. This is the person you'll entrust with the life of your child. Know the babysitter before hiring. Dig into her background and check with references whether she's the best fit for the job. Above all, make sure she has first aid certification.