Category Archives: Preparedness, Health & Safety

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Online Babysitting Training, Provided by the Red Cross

Babysitting is a great way for teens to begin to make their own money. It was my first job, and I absolutely loved it. The kids were awesome, and I loved having my own money that I did not have to ask Mom and Dad for. However, I do remember being a little bit intimidated at first by the thought of having to take care of another child on my own. If I could go back in time, I would definitely have signed up for a Red Cross babysitting class before I started working, to relay my nervousness.

Stock Photography taken for the American Red Cross babysitter's training video.

The Red Cross has offered an in-person training course for some time now, but has recently launched an online course that can be completed at home, in four hours, at the student’s convenience.

The online course offers all of the same information that the traditional in-person training does. The course ensures that the student masters the information because he or she must pass each lesson before moving on to the next. This is a self paced course, so the student can take as much time as he or she needs to practice each lesson. The online course is interactive; it has animated hosts, videos, case study scenarios, and drag‐and‐drop and point and click exercises.

The Course Outline includes the following lessons:
• The Business of Babysitting
• You’re the Boss
• Safe and Sound on the Job
• Playing with Kids of All Ages
• From Feeding to Bedtime: Caring For Kids
• It’s an Emergency- Now What?
• Final Exam

Additionally, participants have unlimited access to downloadable resources that can be used for additional self‐learning or to refresh their skills. Those resources include resume templates, interview checklists, fact sheets, skill sheets, family information cards, parent consent and contact cards.

Upon successful completion of the online course, students will receive certification stating that they have completed the American Red Cross Babysitting Basics course.

Another advantage of the online version of the course is the price. The cost of the course is $29.95, while the in-person training costs $85, because it is taught by a certified instructor. If you wish to sign up for either the online or in-person course, or learn more about them, click this link.

Aside

Have you been trained in CPR? If not, why not? CPR is the most effective way to help someone who is choking before emergency services arrives. 1 in 4 Americans have found themselves in a situation where someone needed CPR. … Continue reading

Zombies have taken over Earth!

Well, maybe not literally, but they sure have taken over our televisions haven’t they? From The Walking Dead, to World War Z, to Zombieland, to all the other zombie-themed TV shows and movies that have come out in the past few years, we seem to have some kind of fascination with the undead. And with Halloween just around the corner, more and more zombies are sure to be popping up at your door shouting, “Trick or Treat!”

So, while zombies may not be a real threat to us, we should be keeping in mind some important safety tips for Halloween. The American Red Cross has come up with a couple of rhymes to help you and your kids remember some safety rules for the upcoming fright-filled night!

Alone is something you never want to be when the ghosts are out and the ghouls roam free! (Walk in groups or with a trusted adult, never alone.)

Candy and treats are very sweet, but make sure a grown-up checks your goodies before you eat! (Make sure to remove open packages and choking hazards.)

Whether you’re dressed as a bear or a park ranger, accept treats at the door, but please don’t go into the house of a stranger.

You may visit many homes on Halloween night, but only visit those with a bright porch light.

Scary monsters are a Halloween feature, be on the lookout for all sorts of creatures. (…maybe not zombies, but use caution around stray dogs and other unfamiliar animals!)

For a full list of our rhyming rules, check out this link.Have a safe and spooky Halloween! Look out for those zombies!

Some Essential Apps for your New iPhone

The latest craze in technology this month is Apple’s release of the new generation of iPhones- the iPhone 5s and 5c. For those of you who have already gotten your hands on this new hardware, or for anyone else still trucking along with an older iPhone, or a Droid, there are a few apps that every Smartphone user should download.

The first is the American Red Cross First Aid app. This is a great tool to have handy in case of any small emergency that could happen in your everyday life. The First Aid app provides step-by-step instructions on how to handle most common first aid situations, such as asthma attacks, choking, heat stroke, poisoning, and many more. It also contains videos and animations, making instructions easier to understand. Additionally, the app comes loaded with safety and preparedness tips. This is a great app to have installed on your phone because you can never be too prepared for an emergency-small or big.

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For those bigger emergencies, the Red Cross also provides a number of apps based on specific disasters. These include the Earthquake, Tornado, Wildfire, and Hurricane mobile apps. Depending on what region of the country you live in, one or all of these apps could be useful to have. These disaster-specific apps provide local and real-time alerts for the disaster, and give instant information on what to do before, during, and after the disaster. The apps also include the location of nearby Red Cross shelters. This information could be vital in saving you and your family’s lives.

Another great feature of these apps is the “I’m Safe” button, which lets your family and friends know that you are out of harm’s way through your social media sites. This is a great way to let loved ones know that you are okay, without having to call everyone in your contact list.

Additionally, you can download disaster-specific apps relevant to your loved ones’ regions. This will enable you to stay current on disasters across the country that could be affecting your family. Encourage your family and friends to do so as well!

Lastly, if you are looking to volunteer for the Red Cross, an easy way to get involved is the Team Red Cross app. This app will send you push notifications for volunteer jobs based on your location. You can accept these jobs for yourself, or share them with your friends. For people who want to get started volunteering, but are unsure how to do so, the Team Red Cross app is a great tool to have.

All of these apps can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store or the Google Play store. The information provided by the apps is important to have handy- just in case. Being prepared for an emergency can make a world of difference, and so can volunteering to help those affected by disasters.

Keep it Safe When You Head Back to School

  As we prepare for another school year, the American Red Cross has steps that everyone can take to make the trip back to the classroom safer. “When kids go back to school, parents should make sure the child knows his or her home phone number and address, parents’ work contact information, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1,” said Dr. David Markenson, chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and pediatric expert. “Parents should also teach their children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know,” Markenson added.

Bus Safety

If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps for students include:

• Board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed you to get on.

• Only board your bus and never an alternate one.

• Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.

• Cross the street at the corner, obeying traffic signals and staying in the crosswalk.

• Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

Motorists should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean:

• Yellow flashing lights— the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop.

• Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign — the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

Driving

If children ride in a car to get to school, they should always wear a seat belt. Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”), and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

If a teenager is going to drive to school, parents should mandate that they use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving. All drivers should be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down, especially in residential areas and school zones.

Biking and Walking

Students who ride their bike to school should always wear a helmet, obey all traffic signs and ride on the right in the same direction as traffic. Those who walk to school should only cross the street at an intersection, and use a route along which the school has placed crossing guards. Parents should walk young children and children taking new routes or attending new schools at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Thereafter, arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

Take a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course so you’ll have the knowledge and skills to act if an injury or emergency happens. Find detailed class information at http://www.redcross.org .You can also download the free Red Cross First Aid app at http://www.redcross.org/firstaidapp so you’ll always have first aid information at your fingertips. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

American Red Cross Develops New Hurricane App!

American Red Cross has recently developed a hurricane app for any iPhone or Android users.  This app allows an individual to receive weather alerts via NOAA radio satellite, quick repsonse “I’m Safe” touch option that can be sent to all of your social media outlets, simple steps and checklists for a family emergency plan, along with other tools and weather outlets to be prepared for severe weather.

To download the app to your iPhone or Android, search app store for “Hurricane by American Red Cross.”