Children at The Sunshine House in Evans, Georgia watch a afternoon video. The children were allowed to watch a cartoon movie because it was a school holiday.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
When going out for the night, most parents would be more apt to leave their child with a responsible young adult who has been trained to handle emergencies and knows first aid.
That's why officials say something called the Safe Sitter Program, offered by SAFE KIDS of East Central Georgia at the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center, is gaining momentum as a program for teenagers.
"The program is for girls and boys ages 11 to 13 who will be taking on the responsibility for the lives and well-being of children younger than themselves," said Rene Hopkins, a registered nurse and SAFE KIDS of East Central Georgia Coalition coordinator. "Generally, inadequate emphasis is placed on the magnitude of the responsibility an adolescent accepts when babysitting. Most adolescents lack the knowledge of first aid, rescue skills, behavior management techniques and experience for handling medical, behavioral or household emergencies that might occur."
Evan Sullivan, 5, (left) and Daniel Lewis, 5, race their tricycles on the playground at Appletree Academy at The Pass.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Students who participate in the program, which will be held April 8 and 9 at Wesley United Methodist Church on North Belair Road in Evans, will gain the knowledge, confidence and skills needed to be safe responsible babysitters, according to Hopkins.
"They will learn to identify when they can handle a situation themselves, the need to call an available adult, to call the parents of the child they are caring for or when to call 911," she said, adding that the classes are led by a team of nationally certified Safe Sitter instructors. "They will learn how to keep themselves safe when in someone else's home, as well as how to handle themselves in the business of babysitting."
The cost of the two-day program is $50. Interested individuals can register by calling 721-7606. Additional Safe Sitter classes will be offered June 14 and 15 at the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center and July 29 and 30 at Wesley United Methodist Church.
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