Many day care places already meet proposed CPR standards

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A bill seeking stricter CPR training requirements for child care centers would have little — if any — effect on local day cares if it passes. In fact, Freeborn County’s largest licensed child care center currently runs under even stricter CPR training guidelines than required by the state.

Rep. Mary Liz Holberg and Sen. Dan Hall submitted a bill last week that would require CPR training for all teachers and assistant teachers in child care centers. Currently, the law in Minnesota requires that at least one employee with CPR training should be present in a center.

The Children’s Center in Albert Lea requires all of its teachers to have CPR and first aid training. The preschool pays for the training, and the teachers must keep up with their ongoing certifications.

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“They don’t have to have it when they start, but they are not allowed to be left alone with the children until they have it,” said Brenda Reed, family services coordinator at The Children’s Center.

She said there is someone with CPR training with each group of children at all times.

Freeborn County Department of Human Services oversees private in-home day care providers.

According to Debbie Baas of the Freeborn County Licensed Day Care Association, all private licensed child care providers in Freeborn County must have four hours of CPR training to become licensed in their homes. They must keep their certification cards current as required by the Freeborn County Department of Human Services, which is every three years.

Additional areas of training required for licensed child care providers in Freeborn County include first aid training, nutrition training, car seat safety and transporting, sudden infant death syndrome and shaken baby syndrome.

Baas understands the importance of CPR training, as she once had an infant in her care stop breathing after choking. She used CPR to revive the baby.

“I was in shock, absolutely in shock when I put her over on the table and started the CPR,” she said. “My day care kids were oblivious. They were right there in the room.”

Baas had received the CPR training just months before the incident and remembered that special procedures needed to be done when performing CPR on an infant. She got the baby, who was just 3 months old, breathing before the ambulance arrived. The baby recovered fine, and Baas continued to provide day care services for the child.

“That was five or six years ago and we still have a special bond that will never be gone,” Bass said. “I cannot stress how important CPR is for all us of to have.”

Reed said CPR has been used at The Children’s Center, as well, and she feels confident in her staff’s ability to perform it.

The proposed bill comes in response to the death of 4-year-old Hannah Kozitzka, who died last June after choking on a whole grape at a day care in North Mankato. Legislators held a Capitol news conference with the parents and grandfather of Kozitzka last week.

The bill unanimously passed the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee.

— The Associated Press Contributed to this story.