Originally created 12/28/96

Course to train baby sitters

In the entrepreneurial world, age is not a factor; it's the will to succeed that counts.

One class in Augusta is designed to help young entrepreneurs who have that will to develop business and child-care savvy as baby sitters.

Training is needed for them, although many young people already baby-sit, said Renee McCabe, who is in charge of Walton Rehabilitation Hospital's Safe Sitter course. The course is also sponsored by University Health Care Foundation Inc.

"We don't just teach children how to have a successful business," Ms. McCabe said.

The course, designed for children ages 11 to 13, teaches skills such as first aid, rescue breathing and care of a choking child.

"Ninety percent of emergencies with children involve breathing or choking," Ms. McCabe said. "We feel if there's anything further than that, they need to dial 911."

A Safe Sitter course, which is nationally recognized and taught by trained instructors, is being offered 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at University Hospital Medical Center/South Richmond County, 3121 Peach Orchard Road. Cost is $25. Call 868-3200 to register.

The course will also teach students how to interview parents and offer a chance to handle youngsters.

To get a baby-sitting business off the ground, the Safe Sitter program material suggests networking through parents. Parents can suggest children's names to friends or co-workers.

Safe Sitter material also recommends passing out fliers in person that include name, telephone number, hours available and qualifications as well as asking other baby-sitting friends to offer names as substitutes. But do not post fliers in public, the material warns.

Once a baby-sitting business is established, baby sitters should screen requests, keep their own parents informed about where they are, be aware of house rules and employer's instructions, know emergency phone numbers and practice safe household habits such as locking doors and closing blinds.

Safe Sitter officials also recommend that no one baby sits for a person who has no references or has references that can't be checked.

Correspondent Laura C. Perry contributed to this article.


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