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What Certifications Should Sitters Have?
Whether or not you choose to take certification courses, every sitter should know what to do in an emergency. Not all certifications need to be expensive. In fact, many certification opportunities are available for free or a low cost! Check sites like Groupon to find discounts in your area.
First Aid & CPR
Choosing to complete a first aid and CPR course could benefit you personally and professionally. You can include first aid certifications on your resume, as well as your ASAP Sitters profile. Many different companies offer first aid courses. Which one should you take? Make sure to avoid online-only courses and stick to reputable organizations. The American Camp Association maintains a list of reputable first aid certification providers that you can check if you’re uncertain. Courses range in cost, but sometimes you can find one for free in your community. For example, the YMCA in Richmond offers free Red Cross trainings.
You can also download first aid apps for free. These apps provide information, but do not offer certifications. It is important to not only act quickly, but also to provide appropriate first aid care during emergencies. Using first aid apps could improve your quality of care. Research suggests that laypersons perform higher quality CPR when using an app to guide them through the process1!
According to the CDC, children’s food allergies are becoming more common2. Do you know what to do if a child experiences anaphylaxis and needs an epinephrine auto-injection (Epipen)? If you care for a child with severe allergies, you may want to take an anaphylaxis and epinephrine auto-injector course online.
There are several options for childcare courses available which focus on basic safety, discipline, behavior, and basic childcare skills.
Even the best sitter can brush up on her skills! Participating in professional development courses can introduce you to new information and reinforce the skills you already have. Texas A&M University offers free professional development courses online for childcare workers. Although some of the courses may be focused more on daycare settings, many of the courses are appropriate for anyone in a childcare field. Penn State Better Kid Care offers free and low cost courses related to child development, communication, health, and professionalism; most courses are only $5. Agencies in your community, such as libraries, may also offer professional development for free; Richmond sitters can do this at Henrico County Public Libraries.
Written by ASAP Sitter Caitlin.
1Steven M. Thygerson , Joshua H. West , Amber R. Rassbach & Alton L.Thygerson. (2012). iPhone apps for first aid: A content analysis. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 16(2), 213-225, doi:10.1080/15398285.2012.673465
2Branum A. M. & Lukacs S.L. (2008). Food allergy among U.S. children: Trends in prevalence and hospitalizations. (NCHS Data Brief No. 10.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db10.htm