If you’re pregnant or recently given birth, you’re well aware that baby safety involves learning many new skills. One of those skills is how to do infant and child CPR. You may be asking yourself who teaches CPR classes in the Bay Area and which class is the right one for me? What follows is a guide for finding and choosing the right CPR class for new and expecting parents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Finding The Right Class
As a new parent learning CPR, your focus should be on finding the best class. Many CPR classes offer a certification card, but this is usually irrelevant for new parents. Most people who get a CPR certification need to fulfill a requirement for their job or a government regulatory agency. Because a class offers a certification in CPR, doesn’t mean the class has better content than a non-certification class.
There are several parenting centers and hospitals around the Bay Area offering infant and child CPR classes as well as baby products and other helpful classes for expecting and new parents. Most of these classes will not certify you in CPR. California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, DayOne (several locations) and Birthways in Berkeley are a few of the best, but there are several more.
If you don’t need to be CPR certified there are instructors who can customize a class to focus on the safety topics important to you. For example, you may want to learn infant and child CPR and respond to choking emergencies (which should always be part of a CPR class), but also want to learn how to respond to allergic reactions and treat wounds. It can be worth the effort to find an instructor that will teach you the class you want. Many of these instructors will travel to your home or business or set up a private class for you at their facility. Most require a minimum number of students to have a class, often six people. Some do not require a minimum, including my company, In Home CPR, Sonoma Health in Santa Rosa, and CPR Education in Walnut Creek.
Many of the CPR classes offered in the Bay Area also come with a certification. If you decide you want to be CPR certified, the two best-known organizations offering certification classes are the American Red Cross (ARC) and the American Heart Association (AHA). Both organizations’ CPR certifications are valid for two years and cover how to respond to choking emergencies.
The ARC offers community CPR classes at their training centers, with many locations throughout the Bay Area. The ARC is divided into two offices serving the Bay Area: ARC Bay Area (cities north of Santa Clara county) and ARC Silicon Valley. Visit the ARC website to find a list of current classes and locations. The ARC breaks their classes into infant, child and adult CPR. Infants are defined as one year and younger; children are from one year to puberty.
The American Heart Association has relationships with private companies who teach their Bay Area CPR classes. The easiest way to find a class is to use Google or visit the AHA website and use their “class connector”. AHA CPR classes teach adult, child and infant CPR; they do not specifically focus on infants and children.
I also recommend taking a pediatric first aid course. The AHA has a comprehensive course designed for childcare workers, but it’s all material a parent should know. It covers topics such as bleeding, asthma, allergic reactions, seizures, drowning, burns, bites and stings, sprains and broken bones, and choking emergencies.
Chris Schlesinger’s company, In Home CPR, teaches First Aid and CPR classes at the homes of new and expecting parents throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more about In Home CPR at http://inhomecpr.com.