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Sign up now for Summer Babysitting Boot Camp

PHIL ATTINGER/American Red Cross

From left, Emilee Curran, Ashleigh Yelvington and Jessica Pease practice cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on child-sized dummies on June 6, 2008, at the American Red Cross Babysitting Boot Camp. They learned how to care for infants and children, how to engage them in safe, age-appropriate play and how to handle emergencies. Call (863) 294-5941 in Polk County or (863) 386-4440 in Highlands County.

Do you want to learn how to take care of children and infants; handle emergencies such as injuries, illness and household accidents; and learn to be a good leader and role model?

This spring, during Babysitting Boot Camp, your local American Red Cross will train and certify teens and pre-teens (11-15 years old) as Red Cross babysitters — fully-qualified and certified in Infant and Child CPR, First Aid, and such skills as safe play, age-appropriate games, and what to do in an emergency. You can also translate these skills into a regular occupation and take home a backpack with materials you will need to start.

The course helps you write resumes, learn to do job interviews, make good decisions, solve problems and stay safe. It also can be used to help meet National Education Standards for Health Science and Family and Consumer Science.

Graduates of the course have moved on to become babysitters for their churches, neighbors, and communities, providing a valuable service with American Red Cross training – helping their neighbors in need. It's just in time for students to learn these skills before school starts, when many families will rely on teens and pre-teens to watch younger siblings after school.

In Polk County, the next courses will be:
      June 9-11 — 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      July 21-23 — 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Aug. 15 — 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

To sign up in Polk County, call the chapter at (863) 294-5941 or e-mail either Programs and Services Director Linda Scialo at linda@polkredcross.org or Health & Safety Specialist Desirée Bermudez at dbermudez@polkredcross.org. The cost is $125, and includes a backpack with a first aid kit, Red Cross Babysitter’s Handbook and Emergency Reference Guide, a Red Cross babysitter T-shirt, and a Red Cross babysitter lapel pin.
Students will need to bring a lunch each day.

To sign up in Highlands County, call the office at (863) 386-4440 or e-mail at redcross@vistanet.net. The cost is $85.

The American Red Cross also offers single-day certified courses in Babysitting. See the "Course Schedules" link above, then look under "Babysitter's Training." You may also learn more about the course from the American Red Cross national site at www.redcross.org.