Should I Require my Babysitter to be CPR Certified? - In a Heartbeat

Should I Require my Babysitter to be CPR Certified?

They’re every parent’s dream.  Babysitters.  And great babysitters are appreciated as much by the kids as they are the parents.  But what makes for a great babysitter?  Should they have certain skills and certifications?  Or is it enough that they interact well with the children? 

In years past, the criteria for hiring a babysitter was fairly simple, provide responsible care while  keeping the kids entertained. However, we now recognize the value of hiring not only responsible, but also prepared young adults to care for our kids.  In fact, there are any number of classes available for these budding entrepreneurs, which teach basic child and infant care, child behavior and age appropriate activities. But of even greater importance, are classes teaching emergency procedures, pediatric first aid and CPR.  

Each year, approximately 12,000 children, ages 1-19, die of unintentional injuries.  An estimated 2,000 deaths are due to home injury deaths of kids 14 and under.  The same number of deaths are attributed to cardiac arrest in children.  Common hazards include chocking, drowning, poisoning, electrical shock and injury/head trauma.  In the event of one of these or other emergencies, every second counts.  Surprisingly, it can take up to 12 minutes for an ambulance to arrive in certain locations, but only 10 minutes without oxygen to experience irreversible damage.  

However, a prepared young adult is fully capable of delivering life saving assistance to a child in their care.  The American Heart Association reports that children as young as 9 can learn CPR.  As the age for babysitting in DE is 12, it is reasonable and highly recommended that your sitter learn this skill, as well as first aid, before watching your kids.

While CPR training should be required of babysitters, parents also have the responsibility to arm them with important information required in an emergency.  This includes:

  • Medical info for the children
  • Your phone number
  • Contact info for family/friends in the vicinity
  • Pediatrician phone number
  • Poison control phone number
  • Alarm system information, including panic button details
  • A reminder to call 911 first in an emergency

At In A Heartbeat, we host regular CPR and first aid trainings for the public.  Visit our site, for our latest class list.

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