Spring break starts next week and the Kelowna & District Safety Council has a full roster of fun and educational safety programs planned for kids ages eight to 12 in Vernon.
In addition to its babysitter training courses, KDSC has also added two new programs for children this year: Home Alone and first aid. All courses will be held at the People Place, 3402-27th Ave., Vernon.
“These are great, confidence-boosting courses for kids,” says Tania Meyer, executive director of KDSC. “After polling our 10 and 11-year-old students last year, we were really surprised to discover that 90 per cent of them had already babysat younger siblings and 85 per cent of them had already been home alone — and that’s prior to having any training or knowledge about staying safe in those situations.
“So it really shows how important these courses are and it helped us to decide to start offering Home Alone and first aid in addition to our babysitting courses.”
Open to boys and girls ages 10 and up, five Babysitters Training Courses ($60) are scheduled for spring break March 20, 21, 25 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To update the course, KDSC has added a new module to the course called the Business of Babysitting, which will appeal to young entrepreneurs. Many other important topics will be discussed, including rights and responsibilities, age-related developmental and behavioral characteristics of children, child care, nutrition, injury prevention and emergencies.
Kids aged eight to 10 can now take the Canada Safety Council’s three-hour Home Alone ($40) course March 15 and 29. Kids will learn about house keys, strangers, proper use of a telephone, what to do when feeling scared, how to establish a daily routine, manage their time, identify their responsibilities, demonstrate what to do in case of an emergency and how and when to call 911.
KDSC is also now offering the Canadian Red Cross’ First Aid Courses March 15, 19, 22 and 29. Level 3 ($35) is targeted to eight to 10-year-olds and Level 4 ($45) is targeted to 10 to 12-year-olds. Both courses cover calling for help, choking, bleeding, comfort, poisons and burns at age-appropriate levels; Level 4 delves into the topics in more depth and also discusses broken bones and unconsciousness. As Home Alone and first aid are half-day courses, some are scheduled so that participants can take both courses on the same day.
All courses include a student manual and graduation certificate, and the Babysitter Training Course also includes a babysitter’s tote bag and a wallet card. Registration is available through the appropriate course page on KDSC’s website at www.kdsc.bc.ca. Course schedules for the summer and fall are also available online. KDSC is a non-profit organization and operates the Little Travellers’ Safety Village as well as a motorcycle and driver training facility.