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Toddler’s life saved by quick-acting babysitter and good Samaritan

A parent’s worst nightmare almost became a reality when a toddler started having a seizure. Luckily, with the help of a quick-thinking babysitter and a good samaritan, the little girl was saved.
Katie McAllister, mother of 18-month-old Emma said she felt terrified after hearing her daughter’s babysitter say she was not only sick but had suffered a seizure, all while on the way to meet her.
“I look back there and she’s blue and she’s convulsing against the straps of her seat,” Adelina Ohmes, Emma’s babysitter stated.
Ohmes often takes care of Emma while her parents are at work.
On this particular day, Ohmes agreed to meet Emma’s mother so she could go see a doctor for the fever she had.
That fever caused Emma to have a seizure which also caused her to stop breathing.
“They said because the fever shot up as high as it did as quickly as it did is what caused the seizure,” Mcallister explained.
Ohmes said she heard kicking and when she looked in her rearview she knew she had to act fast.
Acting on adrenaline first, she tried giving her the Heimlich, not knowing if Emma was choking or not. When that did not work, she began trying CPR.
“I turned her over and she started to breathe again I gave her a few more breaths,” Ohmes said.
A man driving by saw something was not right and asked if there was anything he could do to help.
“The look on the young lady’s face I could tell something was terribly wrong,” Edward Jordan, explained.
Jordan wasted no time and while Ohmes helped keep Emma breathing he drove them to the hospital and kept emergency responders on the phone.
“I told her you know what just get in,” Jordan said.
As a father seeing the child in trouble hit home for Jordan and he hopes someone would do the same for him.
“I feel like anyone would have done it,” Jordan said.
Mcallister said it was the right people working together for the sake of her child.
“They were her guardian angels that day,” Mcallister explained.
Today Emma is doing great and the threat of another seizure happening is still possible if she gets a high fever, but the good news is most children who develop this will grow out of it by 5-years-old.
Ohmes said she credits being able to help Emma by taking CPR classes and encourages other caretakers to do so as well.

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Saying Goodbye to Your Toddler

Just about every mother has been through that difficult task of leaving your toddler somewhere, either at home or childcare. Some situations are really tough and I still cringe when I think back on the moments when I would try to leave for work. My toddler would form herself into a cross barring all passage through the front door, and when I finally did get past her, she would cling to my skirt or blouse all the way to the elevator.

Only a mother knows the kind of guilt that follows on from an ordeal like that.

It was my husband's turn when she started attending play school. He used to drop her off and try to leave without being pulled back by the crying. We also enlisted uncles and aunties and grandmothers to take turns in dropping her off and picking her up. I think one of her uncles spent quite a few full-length lessons in her play school.

If you are not able to use a grandparent or other relative, then the next best thing is her familiar maid, nanny or babysitter who often can help making saying goodbye almost painless.

Here are some tips which should help:

  • Having a household routine helps to give a sense of order and allows your child to feel safe and confident that her parents will return and that the world is a predictable place.
  • Follow the same pattern each time you leave. Again, a routine suggests predictability which assures your child you will return.
  • Usually, it is best not to sneak out unnoticed, unless your child has a very strong bond with the relative, nanny, babysitter or maid looking after her. It could easily lead to mistrust every time you go into another room and are out of sight for a while.
  • Say "goodbye" confidently, cheerfully and quickly. Drawing out the process could lead to an escalation which might have otherwise been avoided.
  • Set-up a pleasant situation for your child to be immersed in after you leave. A good babysitter can make the world of difference here, but just starting a favourite DVD movies, or playing one in the Resource section on this website, may be enough to prevent a melt-down.
  • Get the babysitter to come half an hour before you need to leave. A new person coming and the parents leaving all at once is too much, too quick. Let the changes happen gradually.
  • Do your best to convince yourself that your child will be OK while you are away. There is not much point in going out for a nice evening if you don't enjoy yourself. After all, it is easy for the nanny to call you if something is not right.

Keeping it Professional. Tips for Child Carers

Daily Diary or a Child Care Logbook

Daily Diary or a Child Care Logbook

Keep a Daily Diary or a Child Care Logbook

Whether you are a nanny or babysitter or a domestic worker who looks after children, all professional child carers should keep a daily logbook as a record of their activities. It sounds like a real pain, and it is. It also seems like a waste of time, but it isn't. It's the professional thing to do, and when parents notice that you keep a log, it will reflect positively on you.

It's a sad thing to say, but child abuse is found everywhere, in every culture and every country. The term "abuse" may be used for quite mild omissions, such as not changing nappies quickly enough, or leaving a child unattended for too long. To be accused of improper child care can be a real career killer, and you need to take every step which you can think of to make sure you are not a casualty.

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Find a Nanny’s Resource Section for Child Carers

infantcprFind a Nanny has a resources section for parents, nannies and professional child carers with emergency information, children's videos and colouring-in sheets and with more to come.

The Emergency Information contains the phone numbers you are likely to need in an emergency. They are highlighted in a red banner at the top of the page and are for police, ambulance, fire and poisoning information.

Immediately below are a series of ten videos showing how to perform infant CPR, child CPR, what do do in cases of infant choking, poisoning, burns and loss of consciousness. The videos are only a few minutes long and could end up being a life-saver. It would be a really good idea to watch each one at least once, and then come back and watch them again in a couple of week's time as a refresher. Really everyone should have a knowledge of CPR and note that infant CPR techniques differ from those performed on an adult. For a professional child carer it is absolutely essential to know basic first aid and, preferably, to have gone through a certified training course. Parents who intend to employ a nanny or babysitter should ask to see first aid certificates of any adult they hire to look after their child. I remember one tragic case a few years ago of an infant who suffocated by choking while her grandmother, who didn't know what to do, rubbed medicated oil on her forehead.

The next section in the resources library is for kids videos. The top row contains flash-cards for the alphabet and word-picture associations. Some people seem to think that flash-cards are a great way to start early childhood education. I actually have my doubts about that, but they ARE a good way for an adult to engage a child in a fun filled two-way communication session and many years after using them I can still remember the smiles and giggles of our evening flash-card times together.

bigbuckbunnyAmongst the videos there are some delightful ones, perhaps the most famous one being "Big Buck Bunny". The main character is a loveable (though hardly cute) bunny who is being pestered by the bratty behaviour of an assortment of rodents, and who kill a butterfly which he was admiring. The rest of the video is about retribution and contains scenes of "cartoon violence" that kids always seem to laugh at.

"For the Birds" is a simple but funny tale of a flock of birds trying to settle down for the night on a wire but who end up squabbling amongst themselves until they are distracted by a goofy looking bigger bird whom they make fun of. The story ends with the smaller birds being in an embarrassing situation.

"French Toast" is a wonderfully quirky story with some "off-the-wall" characters, which addresses themes of snobbery, dishonesty, and judging people by their appearance. I would spoil the story if I summarised it here, but do take a look.

If you think your child might be lonely sometimes, do sit together and watch the video titled "Short Film by Wes Ball". It is an interesting mix of film and animation and has a lovely theme of how imaginative story telling can overcome loneliness.

At the bottom of the page is a collection of lullabies and if you are lucky, one of them might be just the thing to send your baby off to sleep. The video titled "Chinese Lullaby" lasts for an hour. I wouldn't bother watching the images on the screen.

On the previous version of this website we had some classic children's nursery rhymes and children's stories. We will be bringing them back as soon as we find a nice way to present them in a flip-book which works on iPhones, iPads and everyother device out there.

Don't you think iPads (and other similar devices) are great for entertaining babies and children? I do. You just have to be careful that kids don't become addicted to them and prefer them to real human company.

Do You Co-sleep with Your Baby?

mother and baby sleeping

mother and baby sleepingCo-sleeping is the practice of putting your baby to sleep in the same bed as the parents. Sometimes it will be the maid, or domestic foreign worker, or a nanny who does the co-sleeping. Some people recommend the practise, and others advise against it. What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that both parents and babies get more sleep, and sleep of a better quality, when they practise co-sleeping. It is a lot easier for a parent to "half-wake" and comfort their baby, than to get out of bed and walk over to the baby cot, or to the nursery room. The other parent in the bed, the one who is not responsible for responding to the crying baby (that'd be the snoring father), also gets better sleep because the baby's cries are responded to quickly and the baby gets back to sleep in less time.

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Some Quick Tips on How to Hire a Maid, Nanny or Babysitter.

Happy Kids

Happy Kids

It's best to get organised before launching into the process of selecting a maid, nanny or babysitter. Here are some tips to think about.

Identifying Your Needs.

Firstly you should spend some time identifying your needs, and get them clear in your own mind. It's easy to come to the conclusion that you need help around the home, and then advertise for a maid, nanny or babysitter, with only a hazy idea of what that person would do for you.

Write down in a list what you need help with. Do you want a nanny to live-in, or live-out? What tasks will your nanny have to do? What hours will you want her to work? How many days off? Full time or part time? Who will she report to? You exclusively or you, your spouse and your mother-in-law?

Will there be travelling involved? What will be her roles and responsibilities? Baby care, toddler care and or childcare? What activities? House keeping? laundry, cooking, serving meals, driving, swimming, badninton, walking, shopping, gardening, time at the playground?

What kind of financial arrangement? Salary, hourly rate or daily rate? Can you offer you maid, nanny or babysitter any other benefits such as performance bonuses?

Interviewing Candidate Nannies

This process is crucial to obtaining the best maid or nanny. It is a bit different from interviewing candidates in the corporate world, for in addition to ensuring that the nanny's skill sets satisfy your needs, it is also very important that you feel comfortable with your new nanny, maid or babysitter, because they will be spending a great deal of time in your home.

Please do a face-to-face interview to try to learn as much as you can about her. Review her work experience, and responsibilites at their previous position. What did this nanny like and dislike about the families she work with before? What was their previous salary, and very importantly, what were her reasons for leaving.

Try also to find out her long-term goals and time commitments. If you think that a particular nanny might satisfy your needs, it is at that point in the interview that you can explain the roles and responsibilities of the position you are offering, and explain what your your expectations are as an employer.

If you feel that you have made a connextion with a particular candidate, and she might be the nanny or maid for you, it is important that you ask her for her references and telephone them. Once you have verified that the references are valid, the next step would be to do a second interview and then introduce the nanny to the other family members.

Making an offer

After you have interviewed, selected and screened the candidates for employment the next step to securing this person is making an offer. Most household employers prefer a Terms of Employment letter, or a guide as opposed to a contract. A guide is helpful in several ways.

There often are so many responsibilities for the typical nanny's job, it may be difficult to list them all. So a Terms of Employment letter creates a new way to communicate with your new employee. You can discuss this guide on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, eliciting their thoughts and observations about their job. It also gives you an opportunity to constructively appraise your nanny in a non-threatening way. Remember communication is paramount.

Your guide should also include compensation or any additional salary for overtime or extra tasks not originally discussed. It is important to describe the compensation you are offering. Salry overtime, days off, vacation, sick days, public holidays, talk about everything including the start date.

So good luck when you conduct your first interview with your potential nannies and remember, if you fell you would like some advice from others, do make a post on the forum