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Sandra Yi ReportingKids in Utah County learn how to fight back after a Mapleton child was abducted on his way home from school.
The five-year old boy taken to a remote canyon area and left alone, partially bound by tape. He was rescued by a passerby and the alleged abductor was arrested hours later when he returned to the canyon.
Now concerned parents in the area are taking steps to make sure their kids are safe, and one step involves a program that teaches very young children how to defend themselves.
Your children may know not to talk to strangers. But when someone tries to take them, they may not have time to react. The RadKIDS program teaches kids than fighting back can save their lives. It's an important lesson, but one safety experts say may not be enough to save a child's life.
Alyson Larsen, RadKIDS Instructor: "Too many times they're just picked up and taken and they don't know what to do."
School kids at Westridge Elementary are learning life saving skills they can put into action, like running away and yelling for help if approached by a stranger. They are also learning how to fight back if a stranger tries to take them.
Drills allow them to practice techniques, like peppering a person's eyes with their fingers.
Alyson Larsen: "I just gave them something that they didn't have before. And if you don't have tools in your toolbox, you can't use them when you need them."
This is the Radkids program, offered to elementary schools in the Provo School District. Kids are armed with basic defense moves and empowered so they don't panic in dangerous situations.
Mikaela Bowman, First Grade Student: "In a real kidnapping, you could get away and if you don't know that stuff, you can get kidnapped really easily."
Jenny Larsen, First Grade Student: "You do your techniques which you learned and you do those so you get away from strangers, so you can run away and you can go tell somebody."
Instructors say it's important kids learn to defend themselves because all too often stories of young victims end in tragedy.
Alyson Larsen: "The reason we do this is because we don't want that to happen to another person, anywhere, ever. No parent needs to go through that. No child needs to go through that."
RadKIDS is for kids between five and 11 years old. Instructors hope to implement the program in more schools and in different communities.