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Adventures in Babysitting

By Staff | Jan 3, 2014

Do you know how to change a diaper?

Do you know who to call when a child has ingested poison?

Do you know how to figure out what’s making a baby cry – and to stop it?

Well a lot of young ladies do now in Estherville.

A babysitting clinic conducted by Sarah Chrestiansen of Iowa State University Extension – and assisted by Kristin Buum, who heads up the Clover Kids program this year, and Becca Lair, member of the Emmet County 4-H County Council – showed a couple dozen young ladies how to care for kids from babies up to adolescents.

And there are a lot of tricks of the trade – a lot of tricks.

As Buum said, when taking care of a baby, a babysitter has to figure out what’s wrong when the baby’s crying. After all, a baby can’t talk.

“You have to figure out everything for them,” Buum said, demonstrating how to hold a baby by always supporting its head.

While snacks are fine, too many snacks can be too much of a good thing. Buum suggested that a babysitter can give kids stickers as rewards instead.

For smaller children, particularly babies, choking hazards are something to look out for, said Chrestiansen.

Buum suggested that toys for, say, eight-year-olds be separated from babies and younger children.

The session included:

n Kids games.

n Child development.

n Making lunches.

n Changing diapers.

n First aid.

n Setting up babysitting kits.

n CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

n A safety session presented by sheriff Mike Martens.