One summer day, Allison, 12, was watching her two younger brothers, Nicholas, 10, and Benny, 5, at home while her parents were out. Nicholas went to get some snack chips he’d left on his bed. When he got to his bedroom, he noticed the family dog had found the chips. When Nicholas reached for them, the normally docile dog lunged at Nicholas and bit him on the lip.
Nicholas came out of his bedroom screaming and Allison immediately went to his aid and noticed a deep round opening on his upper lip. After consulting her Safe Sitter® Student Handbook, Allison followed the triage system for seeking further care and treatment of animal bites that she’d learned in class. Because most dog bites occur in or around the home, involve children under age 10, and involve dogs known to the child, the treatment of bites is an important part of the Safe Sitter® curriculum. Even “good dogs” can bite, especially if they are eating or protecting a bone or other treat, and bites can be mild or very serious.
Allison said she wouldn’t have known what to do without her Student Handbook. “You never know when something might happen and it’s good to know what you need to do,” said Allison, who completed Safe Sitter® at Lancaster General Women & Babies Hospital at the insistence of her mother, Kelly, a social worker at the hospital. Kelly saw an ad for the Safe Sitter® class and decided to take advantage of the special discount for the children of hospital employees.
“[Allison and I] discussed the possibility of her taking on more responsibility at home in regards to helping to babysit her younger brothers,” Kelly said. “I was concerned about her ability to manage any behavioral issues in her youngest brother, preventing accidental injuries, and administering any necessary first aid.”
Needless to say, Kelly expresses gratitude for the Safe Sitter® class that helped her teenage daughter handle the recent dog bite incident in her home.
“I am so appreciative of the other skills she learned from the course as well like CPR, keeping herself safe in all situations, and even how to establish her own babysitting business,” said Kelly. “I would highly recommend this course to any parent of a child age 11 and older regardless if they are planning to babysit. It is imperative for children to have this information when they will be left alone without parental supervision. “