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FCSS facilitating babysitting skills in Cardston this weekend

Posted on April 11, 2024 by admin

By Heather Cameron
Westwind Weekly News

On Saturday, April 13 from 9-4 p.m., Cardston and District FCSS and St. John Ambulance will be hosting a ‘Babysitting Basics’ course at the Cardston Civic Centre.

“The class gives children ages 11 to 15 the skills and capability needed to watch younger kids in order to be an employable babysitter,” said Terah Thesen, Director of Cardston & District FCSS. “The course also teaches them how to stay home safely and what to do if there is ever an emergency.”

Thesen says that although registration for the upcoming class closed on April 10, as she has notified St. John’s of the final number attending by April 11, she adds anyone who expresses interest after that will be added to the waitlist for the next class, which will be held in the fall. The course, Thesen says, is offered two to three times per year and hosts a maximum of 12 students, and the response for the class is always overwhelming to the point where 20 students ended up on the waitlist, and the current course is being held to fulfill that waitlist.

Those who take the class, Thesen says, learn emergency contact information, what to do in the event of an emergency, basic First Aid, how to prepare healthy meals, how to care for young children including how to change them, how to play safely with children, how to care for sick children, and how to care for children with a disability.

“From my own children taking the class, I know the children practice basic First Aid and CPR, they practice how to care for infants using dolls, they discuss various emergency situations and what to do in each event, and they go through different safety scenarios and practice what to do to ensure safety for yourself and the other children you’re watching,” said Thesen. “They have to pass a test at the end and are awarded a certificate from St. John Ambulance.”

Thesen says that Cardston and District FCSS supplements the cost of the course from St. John Ambulance and only charges a nominal fee of $10 per student so anyone interested can have the opportunity to take the course. Cardston and District FCSS, Thesen says, has been working with St. John Ambulance to offer the course in the community for at least the last 18 years.

The course, Thesen says, used to be called “What Every Babysitter Should Know” but the name was changed to “Babysitting Basics” about 10 years ago. 

“The course provides youth with important skills needed to be an employable babysitter, so parents know their children will be kept safe,” said Thesen. “The course teaches skills that are not only applicable to babysitting, but to everyday situations these youth may face, even being home alone or with their families. Everyone should know basic First Aid and safety, especially fire safety. It is important in all of our lives. It is especially important if you are watching or taking care of members of your family, or you are entrusted to watch other people’s children. As a parent, I would not feel comfortable leaving my children with someone I knew did not have the capabilities or skills to properly watch and care for them while I’m away. I want the comfort and assurance that the person taking care of them would know what to do if my child ever started choking or if there was another emergency while I was gone. You never know what may happen, especially with young children, and it brings peace of mind to know that someone will be there who knows what to do, if something should happen.”

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