02/01/04 — Red Cross to teach abduction prevention

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Red Cross to teach abduction prevention

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on February 1, 2004 2:02 AM

Wayne County Red Cross volunteers will be going into the public schools during March and April to teach more than 9,000 children about abduction prevention and first aid.

The Home Alone program will be given to children in grades kindergarten through fifth. "It goes along with the our mission of prevent, prepare and respond to emergencies," said Cindy Bell, executive director of the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

"For prevention, we're going to go through abduction prevention. For responding, we're going to go over some first aid tips."

Even though the Home Alone program has been taught in county schools for three years now, this year it will focus on abduction prevention and the importance of having first aid supplies and knowing simple first aid techniques.

"For the abduction program, we'll go through the basic prevention steps such as not being in an isolated place and letting others know where you are," Mrs. Bell said.

"And we're going to teach the children the four Rs -- react, release, retaliate and run. We will tell them not to wait until someone grabs them, but do something smart and get away."

Mrs. Bell said the Red Cross "wants the children to be able to get away from someone trying to abduct them by using the SKY principle: "scream, kick, yell." We will teach them to retaliate by hitting, kicking, punching, gouging and purposely making a noisy scene.

"We also want them to run and get out of the area as fast as they can when someone's trying to abduct them and get to the closest place they can find where there are people."

Mrs. Bell said the Red Cross doesn't want to scare the children, but instead emphasize the importance of knowing what to do.

"Something as simple as writing your child's name on a volleyball or a baseball sticker on your car gives someone the perfect way of knowing your child's name," she said. "We're trying to teach children that just because someone knows their name doesn't mean that that person is not a stranger. Anyone that the child and his or her family doesn't know well is a stranger."

The first aid part teaches simple first aid steps that anyone can do such as washing a cut or what to do in case of a nosebleed. "And we'll emphasize universal precautions and good handwashing techniques," said Mrs. Bell.

When the Home Alone program is finished this year, every classroom will have its own first aid kit that will include gauze, Band-Aids, gloves and an antibacterial wash.

Local businesses that donated money and supplies for first aid kits to be distributed to the schools were Winn Dixie (Wayne Memorial Drive and U.S. 117 stores), Wayne Pharmacy, Goldsboro Drug, Glenn Martin of Mount Olive, Bob Boyd Drug, Acme United and Target.

The Red Cross chapter is looking for volunteers to give at least four hours one day to help teach the Home Alone program. Each presentation lasts about 30 minutes and it takes about four hours to do one school. Volunteers may work in teams or alone.

There are no requirements for volunteers. Anyone interested in helping teach the program will receive training.

"It's a very rewarding thing to be with the children," Mrs. Bell said. "All you need is a desire to volunteer and work with children."

To volunteer to teach the Home Alone program, call the chapter at 735-7201.