As a young teenager, I remember the thrill of finally being old enough to babysit younger children in the neighbourhood, but I also remember the fear. Not only did I have to keep young minds entertained for hours on end, I had to be able to properly care for these young kids, and it was solely my responsibility.
As my friends and I were entering this stage together, we registered for training and felt confident in being able to care for young children on our own. I was even able to handle the neighbourhood twins: I remember when one had an accident, where she fell and cut her leg, they both cried as if it happened to them both, sharing the pain equally as only twins can. Luckily, first aid knowledge came in handy so I could efficiently clean and bandage her cut and then quickly distract them with another activity.
For me, armed with knowledge and resources, it was the start of a prosperous babysitting career that supplemented my newspaper delivery income. Even now, I can confidently care for my infant niece and toddler nephew, pictured left on one such babysitting adventure where he enjoys his first ‘bigger’ swing in a park. I also understand the importance of picking a babysitter who is prepared with preventative knowledge and trained in a babysitter course, such as the Canadian Red Cross Babysitting Course.
Young teenagers, from ages 11 to 15, can learn basic first aid and caregiving skills. In fact, taking this course will ensure trained babysitters learn:
- Basic skills to care for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children
- How to care for himself/herself and siblings when home alone
- How to create a safe environment, and deal with phone calls and unexpected visitors
- How to react confidently in case of an emergency, such as choking, bleeding, poisoning, or burns
- How to cope with common problems, such as tantrums and crying
- Games and activities to keep kids of all ages entertained
- How to manage a babysitting business, including creating a resumé and a business card, and asking the right questions before accepting a babysitting job
It’s a great way to have valuable tools to start your own babysitting adventure, and feel confident in caring for others as well.
Learn more about the Red Cross babysitting course or find a course near you.