Being knowledgeable in basic first aid and CPR is important for au pairs (and anyone else caring for children). Au Pair in America’s commitment to infant/child safety begins before au pairs arrive to the U.S., with pre-arrival training and continue throughout the au pair year.
#1 Training At Orientation
Our orientation includes seminars by American Red Cross instructors who provide hands-on demonstrations in infant/child CPR and safety. Printed materials are provided that reinforce the safety information and can be used to review from time to time.
#2 Enroll in a Red Cross Certification Class
After settling into their host community, all au pairs are encouraged to complete an Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certification program. Au Pair in America will pay for this training through the American Red Cross.
Classes are available through the Red Cross. Au Pair in America will pay for the cost of a class providing an au pair has at least six months left on her visa and is taking one of several approved childcare/child safety-related classes, such as Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED. Au pairs should check with their community counselor and host family before signing up. Au Pair in America will register the au pair directly.
To locate a class, visit www.redcross.org/takeaclass. For step-by-step instructions on how to locate a class and have Au Pair in America complete enrollment, click here.
#3 Stay Current on Safety Information
The Official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, this app gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice, it’s never been easier to know first aid. Download the app for free from the American Red Cross website or in your app store.
Photos: Robin Leon
Baby Safety Month – There are many safety tips on the Au Pair in America website.
In honor of Baby Safety Month, here are some more specific baby tips:
- If you must leave the baby alone for a few moments, be sure she is safely in a crib or play pen.
- Check condition and sturdiness of toys. Discard any with sharp edges or that are broken or falling apart.
- Check clothing for loose buttons and remove strings.
- Is baby’s pacifier still in good condition? Be sure it isn’t coming apart. Never use strings to attach the pacifier to baby’s clothes or crib.
- Where do you set baby’s carrier when she’s in it? Not on the counter or any high surface, please. Babies can wiggle and tip themselves over.
- Stroller check. If your stroller is collapsible, be sure latches are secure before putting baby in. Always check that your child’s arms are out of the way when reversing handle directions so they won’t get pinched. Be sure to use that safety strap. Don’t hang overloaded or heavy bags on the handle of the stroller, as this may cause it to tip over.
- Can you name the 12 most common choking foods for kids under five? Popcorn, hot dogs, chunks of meat, raisins, ice cubes, chunky peanut butter, peanuts (nuts of any kind), hard candy, grapes, raw carrots, potato chips and corn chips.
- Don’t leave toddlers alone while eating; if they begin to choke, you need to be nearby to assist.
- Never leave a child unattended in the bathtub. If the phone rings, let the machine get it, or bring a cordless phone into the bathroom with you. Wait until baby can sit alone to give baths in the tub. It’s easier in the sink until then.
- Enroll in an infant/child CPR and first aid class. This will be a valuable investment of your time, and Au Pair in America will pay for it.
Photo: Lisa Rosario
With shorter days and colder weather, you and the children are probably spending more time inside the house. Please be sure that the house is “childproof” with these simple tips:
- Children are curious; many small children put everything into their mouths. Be sure no small objects are within the child’s reach.
- Plastic bags, long cords and very soft pillows can be dangerous to children.
- If a toy gets broken and has sharp edges, keep it away from children!
- Be sure that laundry soap and other cleaners are out of reach of the children.
- Don’t leave any medicines in reach of children, not even vitamins.
- Keep scissors and knives out of reach.
- Store the toys that belong to older children out of reach of babies and toddlers.
- Many cosmetic items and toiletries, such as mouthwash, perfume, nail polish, and hair spray, are poisonous. Keep them out of children’s reach.