Prepping kids for babysitting with CPR training

Prepping Our Kids for Babysitting with CPR Training

Our girls are of the age where they can offer babysitting services to our friends and neighbors with little kids, but we’re not about to send them out there without the proper training. In order for us (and other parents) to feel confident in their abilities to act in an emergency, we all signed up for a class prepping our kids for babysitting with CPR training.

After years of spending tons of money buying our kids stuff they needed and didn’t need, it’s time they start earning their own. And babysitting seems like the naturally best option, since they are both great with little kids and enjoy playing with them. So we signed up for CPR training at the local YMCA, and set off for an evening of fun.

Well, I guess that depends on your definition of fun. Thank goodness for Marla, our friendly trainer with the thick Bahston accent – she made a very serious subject interesting, and yes even fun. Thankful for Marla’s good sense of humor, we all four learned a lot and left the session certified to administer CPR if ever needed. (I think the kids would prefer never needing to do it, since the whole mouth-to-mouth part made them squirm a bit.

Sophia looks excited to practice mouth-to-mouth on her dummy "Darryl" Sophia looks excited to practice mouth-to-mouth on her dummy “Darryl”

Here’s the basics of what we learned:


  • First check to see if the person is responsive at all. Marla suggested tapping firmly on the shoulder and a loud “HEY! Are you okay?”
  • Take charge of the scene – send one person to call 911 and another to get an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). If you are alone, put your phone on speaker and dial 911 so you can have your hands free to begin CPR.


  • If there is an AED, use it! Marla demonstrated on a dummy, making sure to warn us to clear everyone from touching the person before delivering the shock. After all, we don’t want more than one victim to treat.
  • The AED is pretty smart – it speaks loudly and tells you exactly what to do.


  • This stands for the order of treatment in CPR: compressions, airway and then breathing
  • Marla had us chant this over and over until it stuck. Kinda like a Rhianna song.


  • Put the palm of your hand in the center of the person’s chest between the nipples (this made the girls giggle) and then place the other hand on top of the first. Sit up on your knees over the person’s body, extend your arms fully and lock your elbows.
  • Push straight down hard – about two inches of compression into their chest.
  • Do this thirty times fast – 120 beats per minute (basically the speed of a fast dance track).


  • After the 30 reps, gently tilt their head back and lift their chin to see if they are breathing.
  • Check their mouth to see if you can see any choking obstruction, and clear it with your finger if you can.
  • If there is no breathing, no chest motion, and you cannot hear air movement if you put your ear to their mouth, then move to the next stage.


  • Pinch the nose shut, cover their mouth with your mouth, and give them two quick breaths – one right after the other.
  • Look for chest motion to see if the breath got in.
  • If they do not resume to breathing on their own, start the compressions again for another 30 reps.


  • Repeat this process until you tire – usually about 3-4 minutes.
  • Marla warned the entire process is exhausting, and if there is someone else nearby, they should be ready to take over for you as you tire
  • Take turns until the paramedics arrive.

Marla also covered how to give CPR to kids (same instructions as above) and for babies: use two fingers into their chest instead of your whole hand, and be more gentle to ensure you don’t shake the baby’s little noggin.

While we took turns practicing on the dummies under Marla’s direction, Sophia and Ava went from giggling and embarrassed teens to fairly serious administration of CPR. By the end of the session, they had it down.

Sophia learns compression on her dummy "Darryl" Sophia learns compression on her dummy “Darryl”

Now that’s not to say one of us (ok maybe me) wouldn’t panic in an emergency and forget everything we just learned, but then again maybe our training would kick in and the adrenaline would power us through. Marla would be so proud!

Next up for training: First Aid. Knowing what happens to me when I see blood – or really even the subject is discussed – the girls will be practicing their CPR skills on Dad sooner than anyone thought…

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