October 6, 2010

Can Your Teen Sitter Handle An Emergency?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- When you leave the house for the night and leave emergency numbers on the fridge, do you think about your babysitter knowing how to use them? According to a new study, you don't have to. Nearly all 11 to 13 year old babysitters know who to contact in case of an injury or an intruder.

In the study, researchers at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital surveyed 727 pre-teens who had prior babysitting experience. They found that 51 percent of the children had taken a first aid course in their lifetime and 92 percent of them were familiar with the location of first aid supplies.

When it came to 911 calls, 10 percent of them had personal experience with the system and did not hesitate to use it. However, the study also found that 40 percent of them had reported leaving children alone for a brief period of time and had opened the door to strangers.

"The program provided a snapshot of pre-teen babysitter strengths and weaknesses," study author Nicole M. Hackman, MD, FAAP, of Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital was quoted saying. "By identifying the unsafe behaviors, we have the opportunity to design specific educational programs to prepare pre-teen babysitters to safely respond to common emergency situations."

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition, October, 2010