A New Jersey girl was honored by the Red Cross for being a hero after she saved her 4-year-old brother from choking.

Eleven year old Charlotte Cifelli was sitting down eating when she saw her little brother struggling to breathe. He was choking on a hot dog.

Calling on her Red Cross training, Charlotte sprang into action, telling ABC 7 New York that "I started screaming."

"I slapped him on the back, and I kept hitting it until his hot dog finally came out of his mouth," she said. Charlotte had learned the technique just a month earlier when she took the Red Cross Babysitting Basics course and she didn’t have to wait very long to put it into practice.

For her heroics, she was presented this week with the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit; the Certificate of Merit is awarded to an individual who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course, and it is signed by both the President of the United States and the chairman of the American Red Cross.

According to the American Red Cross, the Babysitting Basics course teaches aspiring babysitters:

  • How to care for infants and children
  • What to do in an emergency and how to stay safe
  • Choosing activities that are age appropriate
  • Recognizing, understanding and handling certain behaviors
  • Starting your babysitting business

For more information about the course and other programs available, visit the Red Cross website.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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