Baystate Franklin  to hold child safety classes

Jan. 15 and 16

GREENFIELD — In an effort to remind parents about the many hidden dangers that exist in a home, Baystate Franklin Medical Center will offer two new child safety classes this month.

The two three-hour classes — “Keeping Baby Safe” and “Keeping Toddler Safe” — will teach parents a variety of topics including: CPR, baby-proofing the home, first aid for choking, poison prevention and car seat safety.

“Too many accidents with infants and children occur because caretakers — parents, grandparents, babysitters — may have forgotten about some of the common hazards in a typical home,” said Shirley Hamill, the program’s coordinator and manager of lactation services and parent education at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

“It’s not that they don’t know about the hazards,” she said. “They just need reminders as they start to care for a new baby, or as their child approaches that all-too-inquisitive phase of toddlerhood.”

The course has been taught at Baystate Medical Center for years and has become extremely popular among new parents in the Springfield area, said Hamill. The baby class, in particular, is offered every month and constantly has a waiting list, she said.

But the program has never been offered in Greenfield, and Hamill is hoping that the classes at Baystate Franklin this month will be able to reach a new audience of young parents in Franklin County.

The three-hour classes will each consist of lectures and hands-on practice, said Kim Webb, a certified CPR instructor who has taught parent education courses for 14 years.

The curriculum is aimed to remind parents of situations they wouldn’t normally think twice about, said Webb.

“You forget where small objects are. You forget if you’re walking from grass or lawn, (that you are) bringing pesticides in on the carpet where your child is crawling,” she said.

Parents respond well to the CPR training as well as information on how to properly and safely attach a car seat, she said.

“Keeping Baby Safe” — a program for couples expecting a child or new parents — will be taught on Jan. 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the hospital’s Conference Room C.

And “Keeping Toddler Safe” will be offered the next night, Jan. 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Conference Room C. The class focuses on increased hazards that come with a growing child, who is now over 1 year old, as he or she begins to walk and explore the surrounding environment.

Registration for each class is required and limited to 10 couples. Each class costs $35 per couple.

To register, call: 413-794-BABY (2229).

You can reach Chris Shores at:
cshores@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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