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Trained New Jersey babysitter saves child's life

A New Jersey toddler survived unharmed after she choked on a slice of pizza, thanks to her 15-year-old babysitter who had taken a course in CPR. The child's sitter explained that while eating, the child turned red and stopped breathing. Although it took a few seconds for the sitter to determine the problem, she promptly got behind the child and performed the Heimlich maneuver as she had been trained. The child had apparently taken too large of a bite while the sitter was distracted.

The child is lucky. Because the babysitter cleared her airway, she resumed breathing immediately and had no noticeable injuries. When a child cannot breathe for long periods, that child's injury will be more extensive. A serious and permanent brain injury may result when a person does not get enough oxygen. How well the child will recover, if at all, depends on a number of circumstances.

New Jersey parents trust the care of their children to lots of different people, including babysitters, schools, daycares and hospitals. Unfortunately, not all of these people are as responsible or as well-trained as the babysitter in this case, and some may cause or exacerbate a child's injury because of their carelessness.

New Jersey law holds those who provide care for children can be held responsible when their negligence hurts the child that they were supposed to protect. In such instances, families may be able to recover several different types of compensation for their loss.

The child's babysitter encouraged all other teens her age who want to babysit to take a course in child CPR. A few years before this incident, she received her CPR certification through the American Red Cross.

Source: CBS New York, "NJ Babysitter draws on first aid training to save choking child", Aug. 21, 2012

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