South Dakota 4-H helps youth learn to babysit

BROOKINGS –  More than 70 youth, ages 7-14, participated in SDSU Extension 4-H Babysitting Clinics held in Forestburg and Plankinton this spring.
“The goal of the 4-H Babysitting Course is to give youth the confidence to handle unexpected situations and to properly care for youth under their supervision,” said Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor – Sanborn, Aurora and Jerauld/Buffalo counties.
During the clinics, youth received hands-on CPR training and learned what to do if a young child starts choking.
CPR, first-aid and safety presentations were facilitated by Julie Dykstra, RN Aurora County Health Nurse, Marla Feistner, RN Jerauld and Sanborn County Health Nurse, Cassandra Weatherford, RN Douglas County Health Nurse, and Kathy Wingert, RN.
“These can be scary situations for most people and youth who are babysitting need to be properly prepared to know how to handle these situations,” explained Scheel.
Following the training, each child received a First Aid kit as a gift from the local SDSU Extension county offices.
Tara Bush, community health secretary for Aurora County, and Sherryl Rankin, Sanborn 4-H Program assistant, provided youth with knowledge on ages and stages of children and how to entertain children. Each participant was able to make some simple games to take with them for their babysitting bags.
Youth were also instructed on how to make healthy snacks and meals and what to remember when feeding children.
“Practicing changing diapers was a huge hit; we learned a new way to change infants who are zero to six months old and potentially reduce colic,” said Scheel.
Youth also gained tips on how to run a babysitting business, as well as some character education reminders.
Youth participants each received a “4-H Grows Here” babysitting bag to hold all their information and items needed when they babysit.
Child Development is a 4-H Project Area. Scheel reminds all 4-Hers who attended the clinics that their bag and its contents can be exhibited at 4-H Achievement Days.
To learn more about 4-H programming, contact Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor, at or your local SDSU Extension office. A complete listing of SDSU Extension Youth Program Advisors can be found at

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