by Danielle Wagner
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) The Grant Wood Chapter of the American Red Cross in Cedar Rapids is teaching 10 to 15 year olds what to do in an emergency situation when babysitting.
"The big thing we would like to focus on is choking because that's something that is likely to happen so choking, CPR, rescue breathing also bleeding, burns. Any breaks that could happen. Kids like to ride their bikes, play outside so that could happen," said instructor Nicole Ver Meer.
The red cross offers numerous babysitter training classes ranging from a day class to a week long camp.
"You don't expect anything to happen, but you never know it might. In today's world there could be a simple thing that parents don't have a land line anymore and we talk about what to do, making sure somebody leaves you a cell phone," said Ver Meer.
Gwen Cataldo is 10 years old and plans to baby sit a lot.
"I have a younger brother who's a year and a half and my mom asks my sister and me to take care of him sometimes so I want to know what to do if he starts choking or if he gets a cut," said Cataldo.
After this camp, Cataldo says more comfortable taking care of her brother or any child.
"I know CPR and first aid and rescue breathing. If I had to I would be able to do it," she said.
Besides emergencies, the students also learn about the fun side of babysitting like snacks and games. There's also time to go over diaper changing and dressing babies.
Nicole Ver Meer hopes the students have fun, but learn something that could save a life.
"Whether there's a tornado, whether the child they're babysitting starts choking on a hot dog, but they are prepared and know what to do so they can hopefully save the lives of the kids they're babysitting," she said.
Classes continue in numerous eastern Iowa communities through August and September. Contact your local chapter for more information.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner