Safe Sitting, Safe Toys

Safe SitterThe holidays bring plenty of treats, gifts, laughter, fun, and chaos. It’s also a time to connect with family and friends and enjoy an evening or two out of the house. This is the busiest time of year for babysitters and also adds more stress and concentration with a household filled with decorations and an exploding toy room.

It’s important to make sure your babysitter has taken the right courses and prepared themselves with the appropriate skill sets to ensure your child’s safety while you’re enjoying time away—worry free.

Safe Sitter® program is a two-day course that teaches young teenagers and adults about babysitting infants under the age of one. This program was brought to life after the accidental death of a nurse’s infant while in the care of a young adult babysitter. The nurse realized the vulnerability of young children when cared for by an unprepared provider.

Established in 1980, Safe Sitter® is the only national nonprofit training program exclusively devoted to preparing young teens to be safe in unsupervised settings, whether home alone, sibling sitting or babysitting. This program is recommended for teens aging between 11 to 15 years-old, and covers the following areas:

  • Safety skills for indoor and outdoor safety, online safety and personal safety;
  • Child care skills such as child development, child care routines (including diapering practices), and behavior management;
  • First aid and rescue skills for injury prevention, injury management and chocking rescue (CPR is an optional but recommended component) and;
  • Life and business skills which include screenings jobs, setting fees and greeting employers.

At St. Clair Health, our Family Birth Center educators provide the Safe Sitter® program to our community. “This program has been a huge success in our community and I feel like we are really preparing our young teens for babysitting their siblings or even giving them an opportunity to make a career by babysitting for local families,” says Meg Walsh, Safe Sitter® Instructor at St. Clair.

In 2019, there were approximately 163,000 toy-related chocking incidents with young children. The importance of practicing safety skills indoors and outdoors during the holidays are crucial for babysitters. Emily Dale, Safe Sitter® Instructor at St. Clair always tells her class, “be overly cautious and always have your eyes wide open. Make sure to scan all rooms and remove all decorations, small chocking hazardous toys, or other miscellaneous items that are within reach for a child. If you are in doubt, always pick it up.”

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Safe Sitter® program click here for more information. St. Clair Health offers these courses as an in person, virtual or hybrid program. If you’d like to enroll in the Safe Sitter® program at St. Clair, click here to find the next available class or call the Community Educators at 412.942.5877.