6/01/19

radKIDS® returns with free sessions to keep kids safe

Stranger danger is a real concern. Sadly, strangers are not the only ones who harm children.

“My goal is to see kids now so I can avoid seeing them later in our Emergency Department. I want to help prevent more kids from getting hurt in any way,” said Tegan Stynoski, RN, forensic nursing program coordinator.

As a radKIDS® instructor, she empowers children with real-life training so they can protect themselves from dangers, like how to tell a good touch from a bad one, to tell a trusted adult if they are being harmed, and to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency. Sometimes, those lessons involve kids physically defending themselves.

“It’s important for the kids to understand the difference between a fight with their brother or sister and a fight for their life,” Stynoski said.

Register today for FREE radKIDS® training July 8 to 12. Sessions for 5- to 7-year-olds are 9 – 11 a.m. with sessions for 8- to 12-year-olds from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Carle Conference West Center, on the corner of University and Lincoln in Urbana. Please complete parental consent and wellness forms by July 1.

Over five days, armed with knowledge and confidence, kids make positive choices for their own safety.

Natalie Pankau from Champaign, enrolled her children Walter, 10, and Evelyn, 8, in the course to help them handle day-to-day challenges including bullying.

“With bullying becoming more prevalent in school today, I wanted my kids to have skills to identify dangers and address them,” she said.

Pankau said she lacked the self-defense skills she needed as a child and wants her kids to have tools to help with bullies at school or a stranger on the street.

“I was surprised to see the vast amount of areas it covered – cyberbullying, fire and more,” Pankau said. “And, it was free of charge. I hope parents who can get their kids there attend this year. It’s well worth it.”

Both her children enjoyed the physical maneuvers – especially Walter. Evelyn preferred the fire drills.

“He wasn’t as comfortable talking about the body parts section, but he was very tuned in to the self-defense and practice,” she said. “They both wanted to show me what they learned at home.”

Pankau said both grew in their confidence and better understand how to protect themselves.

Stynoski says the training provides realistic choices and options for children and parents to avoid and/or escape violence and harm in their daily lives.

Carle uses the radKIDS model to reduce violence against children, to prepare kids to handle the unexpected and to act safely.

One parent last year noted her daughter felt empowered about defending herself and built new confidence for handling emergencies.

“We guide the kids in making their own radKIDS plans to stay safe out in the world,” Stynoski said. “They learn the physical skills necessary to escape dangerous and violent situations. Kids gain decision-making skills and self-confidence that will serve them throughout their lives.”

For more information and to register for the radKIDS® course, email Tegan Stynoski or call her at (217) 326-6601.