Au Pair USA Au Pair Saves 5-Year-Old from Choking

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Au Pair Nominated for International Au Pair Association Au Pair of the Year Award

What's happening to me, Mommy?

Au Pair USA ( au pair Amanda "Nena" Mayorga, of Ecuador, saved her host family's daughter from choking and is now a finalist for the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) 'Au Pair of the Year' Award to be presented in Vienna, Austria in March.

Nena is an au pair with the Thompson family of Irvington, NY, where she takes care of Ryan, 5, and Jessica, 4. Nena is a perfect fit for the host family's needs: they have two young and active children, one of whom may have Asperger's Syndrome, and she is a fun and engaging au pair. Nena has been nominated for the IAPA Award because of her swift reaction in a life-threatening situation. One evening during dinner, the host mother, Janine, noticed Jessica was very quiet and bent over her food. Jessica looked up and said, "What's happening to me, Mommy?" It was then that her mother realized Jessica could not breathe. Janine attempted to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre but couldn't remember the method, and Nena swiftly came to action, commanding Janine to hand the child over to her. With calm and reserve, Nena executed the technique successfully and dislodged the food Jessica was choking on. Nena had saved the child's life! When asked where she had learned to react so effectively, Nena replied, "We learned it when we first arrived in the U.S. at the au pair orientation. It was part of our training to be an au pair." The host family was so impressed, they submitted Nena's story for the IAPA Award.

According to Michael McHugh, Au Pair USA's Program Director, "Our comprehensive week-long Orientation and Training Program in New York equips new au pairs with all the necessary information and tools they need to care for children in American host families. In this case, Nena's training was invaluable and taught her how to react confidently in an emergency. We are so excited that Nena has been nominated for the IAPA Award."

Au Pair USA has more than 20 years of experience in matching international au pairs with host families all across the United States. Au pairs are young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who come to the U.S. on a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa to live as an extended member of their host family for up to 2 years. Au pairs provide up to 45 hours per week of live-in childcare in exchange for room, board, an educational allowance, and a small weekly stipend. All au pairs have previous childcare experience, and also receive formal hands-on childcare and safety training, including First Aid and CPR during the Orientation and Training Program in New York before arriving at the host family home.

Media Contact:
Michael McHugh
Au Pair USA
161 6th Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10013


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Michael McHugh
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