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Mercy Regional Health Center (Manhattan)

Wamego Middle School Students to take Safe Sitter Course this Week
March 6, 2013

Media Contact:
Jana Bowman, Public Relations Director

Wamego Middle School Students to take Safe Sitter Course This Week

Manhattan, Kan. – This Friday, March 8th, a group of young teens from Wamego Middle School will spend their day off from school in a classroom learning how they can make a positive contribution to their community by being good babysitters.

“Injuries are the leading cause of death in children up to age 5,” Kristin Cottam, Community Education Specialist at Mercy, said. “Because of this statistic, today’s babysitters need to know more than just the basics of child care.”

The group of 24 teens will spend six and a half hours of their day with Safe Sitter Instructors from Mercy Regional Health Center, learning the Safe Sitter 1-day curriculum. The 1-day curriculum includes CPR instruction and choking rescue that follows current American Heart Association Guidelines.

Additionally, participants will receive instruction in the latest first aid techniques from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The class also provides life and safety skills, emergency preparedness, tips for beginning a babysitting business, and safe marketing skills.

The class on March 8th is brought to the Wamego community through a collaborative effort between Wamego Middle School’s RSVP (Raider Student Volunteer Program) Coordinator, Marcia Gier, and Mercy’s Community Education Specialist, Kristin Cottam.

Mercy has been offering the Safe Sitter Curriculum to local teens since 2007. Safe Sitter, a nationally recognized babysitter training program, was founded in 1980 by Indianapolis pediatrician, Dr. Patricia A. Keener, after a colleague's 18-month-old choked to death while under an adult sitter's care. Dr. Keener developed Safe Sitter® as a medically accurate instructional program designed for young adolescents 11 to 13 years of age. The curriculum is regularly updated. Dr. Keener has been recognized nationally for the educational excellence of the Safe Sitter® program by the American Academy of Pediatrics, more information about the program can be found by going to Mercy’s website,

RSVP (Raider Student Volunteer Program) is a Wamego Middle School organization that promotes character-building through service of the school, community, state, and nation. RSVP’s efforts are focused on helping those around them by doing projects such as, collecting needed items for the local Community Health Ministries, raising money for the local humane society, volunteering babysitting services to the community, purchasing needed items for our school, and doing other service-related activities. RSVP became interested in providing a babysitting class for their members and other students so that they could expand their volunteer services to a wider range of people in the community.

“Knowing our volunteers have taken a babysitting class, gives people the security in knowing their children will be cared for by a responsible and knowledgeable student,” Gier said.

RSVP is open to any sixth, seventh, and eighth grade student at Wamego Middle School.