STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Sgt. Missy Graeter of the Marble Falls Area EMS sees the need firsthand with the number of emergency calls involving babies. That need is educating people on how to protect infants and toddlers from accidents.
Graeter created Safe Baby Academy, a two-hour class held the third Saturday of the month during which she and other expert volunteers will teach basic skills vitally needed when caring for babies. The next free class is 9-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the EMS station, 609 Industrial Blvd. To register in advance, go to marblefallsareaems.org and click on the “Community Outreach” tab at the top of the page. Then, click on the blue box that reads “Registration Link for MFAEMS Safe Baby Academy” and fill out the form.
Graeter, who is a paramedic, said this course is ideal for parents, grandparents, guardians, babysitters, and others entrusted with the care of a baby.
She spent several months attending similar seminars, researching, and writing and relied on her own experiences and those of her colleagues to create Safe Baby Academy based on what they see during emergency calls.
The course covers home safety such as securing hot items, hot water, and chemicals; securing top-heavy furniture, especially if it has toys on top; securing swimming pools and the proper ways to bathe children in a bathtub; how to contact poison control; how to keep babies safe from sudden infant death syndrome; how to help babies that are choking; and the proper way to administer baby cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Attendees are asked to bring car seats, if they have them, so EMS personnel can examine whether it is the appropriate size for the baby and show the correct way to secure it and the baby in a vehicle. Graeter noted 75 percent of seats are installed incorrectly or the baby isn’t correctly placed and secured in the seat.
“We’d love to see (the classes) progress and help educate this community,” Graeter said.
Call the EMS office at (830) 693-7277 for more information.