Action, not advice, for staying safe

By Renee Seymour/ rseymour@cnc.com
Friday, January 20, 2006

Would you teach your child to swim in the living room? Then why would you teach your kids about safety in the living room, too?

Those are the questions radKIDS Child Safety Program Executive Director Steve Daley poses to parents when he explains why his activity-based program is the best way to teach kids safety radKIDS, and it’s coming to Topsfield next week.

RadKIDS shows youngsters how to react to danger by putting them in a simulated situation that teaches how to make the proper reaction second-nature, to arm kids with the right response if ever real danger strikes.

"Rather than tell them what to do, we train their bodies and their brains what to do," said Daley. "The brain is designed to protect us, and if we’re scared, we usually freeze up before we can react. So rad trains brains to instinctively respond to danger and try to escape, rather than freeze up in fear."
Hosted by the Topsfield Police Department, next week’s program is a three-day training course to certify instructors to teach this safety technology. The program is open to participants throughout the region, said Topsfield Police Chief Dan O’Shea.

Given Topsfield’s enhanced focus on child safety in the past six months - with last September’s Child Safety Night followed by the Tri-Town-wide Child Safety Night at Masco the next month - hosting this program complements those efforts.

"There’s a general concern of how to enhance the safety of the children in the community, so this is a natural spin-off of that. We’ve contemplated doing this program for some time too, but I think it’s safe to say the recent events of last fall have created some momentum towards getting on track for this," said O’Shea.

Titled radKIDS Personal Empowerment and Safety Education Program, the three-day session will certify three members of the Topsfield Police Department to present the program to children and parents in town.

Participants will be DARE Officer Caroline Wilochowski, Reserve Officer Kelly Pickering and 911 Operator and Auxiliary Officer Joy Fleck. Each expressed a great interest in earning this certification, said O’Shea.


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