Trained and ready for business

The future baby sitters learned what to do if a child gets stung or has trouble breathing.
BABY-SITTING IS A BUSINESS, AND15 area youths are now better prepared to handle the job. The group, ranging in age from 11 to 15, attended a seven-hour American Red Cross Baby-sitting Training Course on Saturday at Boardman Park to learn all the basics.
"I first tell them that this is a job and they need to be professional," said Karen McCallum, Boardman Park recreation director. "When they complete the course they get business cards and we help them with interviewing skills, too."
In case of emergency
McCallum and Anna Jannetti, of the Red Cross, provided the pupils -- 14 girls and one boy -- with a baby sitter's training handbook and plenty of instruction to get them through several emergencies.
"They learn about what to do if a child is not breathing or gets stung and has an allergic reaction," McCallum said. "They are also told how to be a good communicator with children and what type of games to play."
McCallum said the future baby sitters are also instructed on what not to do when they are in charge of small children.
"This is like any other job and when you are baby-sitting you are working, so you shouldn't be on the telephone and you shouldn't have your friends over," McCallum told them. "You are there to work and you should be doing something with the children you are watching."
The pupils are provided with ideas for games and other activities to do with the children.
"I learned a lot," said Matt Hill, 12. "I want to be a baby sitter and earn some money. I think I'd be really good."
Developing a clientele
The course also helps the future baby sitters meet potential customers.
"We are having a baby sitters social on May 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. so that parents who need baby sitters can come and meet a reliable, trained baby sitter," McCallum said. All the pupils who successfully completed the course will be invited to attend the social.
"This will be a great way for parents to find a sitter and for the sitters to find work," McCallum said.

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