Safety tips to help protect children

By Bridgett Morales Kilgore | bkilgore@reportert.com

Parents in the Mooresville area are on high alert following a report of a stranger who touched a child at Pioneer Park.

The incident provides an important opportunity for parents to talk to their children about safety, said Morgan County Sheriff?s Department detective Volitta Fritsche.

Fritsche is a trainer for r.a.d.Kids, which stands for Resist Aggression Defensively, an educational self-protection program for children. Mooresville began offering the training last year after a student survey showed students were concerned about abduction, Mooresville School System community relations coordinator Susan Haynes said.

Haynes said the survey was taken when the Amber Alert System was started and was prominent on television, radio and highway signs.

Haynes said the program provides not only self defense and safety education, but a combination of safety information that provides skills that even elementary-aged children can use to defend themselves.

Haynes said parents are encouraged to attend the training to provide an opportunity to start conversation about safety and rules for home, the neighborhood, playground and everywhere else.

Mooresville received a grant to provide the training from Learn and Serve America of Homeland Security Division to train several local people to teach the r.a.d.Kids program to elementary students.

More than 20 students completed the 10-hour safety training. Haynes said the Mooresville schools will be offering the program again to students ages 5-7 and 8-12 in the upcoming school year.

Fritsche also received an additional grant for the sheriff?s department to offer the program to more families and children.

The need to teach children safety techniques has been spotlighted by the incident at Pioneer Park and one in a park near Fishers, Fritsche said.

Parents should always share an open line of communication with kids,? Fritsche said. ?And be as honest as you can. We want to protect them from the ugliness but you don?t have to go into the gory details.?

What parents should tell kids to keep them safe

Fritsche said the first line of defense for kids when a stranger approaches is to scream.

?It seems as if the boy by screaming reacted right by calling his grandma and that is what helped him,? Fritsche said referring to the incident at Pioneer Park.

Fritsche said children in public areas should be accompanied by an adult.

Even then, children should be told to be aware of their surroundings.

Know your exits, know your surroundings like where the nearest home is, the nearest phone,? Fritsche said they advise kids in the training.

Kids who ride their bikes in rural areas should especially be aware of these safety tips.

Fritsche said parent should tell their children if someone tries to abduct them, to give a good fight.

I suggest parents tell their children to never go peacefully,? Frische said. ?My thing is, you hit, kick, you yell, you pinch, do whatever you can to get loose.?

And, at all costs, she advises children to anything they have to do to avoid getting in a vehicle with a person who might be attempting to abduct them.

They are going to try to make you more isolated. They don?t want witnesses.?

Resources for parents

Even if students are not able to take the class, through the Internet, parents have access to Web site for families to help identify dangerous areas for kids. Websites such like www.familywatchdog.org and the Indiana sex offender Web site www.indianasheriffs.org also provide information to parents to help talk to kids about safety issues.


Tags:
Category: News