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Crofton Community Schools

K-12 Schools


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CHS Students Take On Simulated Parenthood

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     At Crofton High School FCS teacher, Mrs. Jonelle Thoene, challenged the students, in Human Growth Development class, to a project involving RealCare Babies, called RealCare Baby Simulation.  Each student had been required to be a parent for a minimum of 48 hours to the baby assigned to them.  

    The RealCare baby is similar to that of a real baby in many different features including weight of six to seven pounds and length of 20 inches.  This year the class received four boys and three girls of many different ethnic cultures.  

    The simulators detect the same care and movement as a real baby would.  The student and RealCare Baby are required to wear an I.D. card to help with the sensors.  The sensors are placed throughout the baby’s body along with clothes and other essentials.  Each sensor detects many different characteristics such as temperature, change of clothing/diapers, time in/out of the carrier/car and also proper care and mishandling of the baby.  Proper care includes how well you participate in the baby’s needs including burping, rocking, feeding and changing.  Mishandling or improper care towards the baby includes shaken-baby syndrome, rough handling, poor head support and wrong positioning.  Each of these detections then are transmitted and recorded to a chart and, when finished, is printed out and reviewed over called Simulation Review.  “Taking care of the baby’s needs will give the students responsibility and to teach them their baby comes first,” stated Thoene.

    In order for each student to take care of a RealCare baby there are guidelines and necessities that are to be followed/needed.  Forms are given to each student prior to the care that states they will do as told.  The necessities of the baby include charging system, carrier with seat cover, and a diaper bag which consists of a checklist for the baby’s items for proper care.  The checklist includes two diapers, one green and one yellow, a bottle, care card and a green bodysuit.  Also on the checklist is a sleeper, which monitors the baby’s sleep and cry time.  The crying ranges from one being the worst to 15 which is the easiest.  “Tyrone, name of the baby, was all over with his ranges of crying and during this project I only got a few hours of sleep,” explained, CHS student, Kyle Kast.

    This project taught students the lessons on parenthood and that it is not easy and the schedule and everyday management is changed to revolve around the baby’s needs.  “It’s a great learning opportunity and it teaches them the challenges of having a child, particularly at a young age,” quoted Thoene.  Overall this showed the students a realistic view of being a parent and how it all changes.  


By: Hannah Stephenson