Chances are, if you have ever taken your toddler into a crowded place, you have experienced the sudden feeling of panic that comes when you realize your child is no longer by your side. Those brief minutes before you spot your child among the masses are more than enough time for your worst fears to begin creeping into your mind.
It's estimated that American children get lost more than 2,000 times every day, in heavily traveled places like beaches, amusement parks, shopping malls, and airports. Thankfully, the vast majority of accidental wanderings are resolved as quickly as they began. Still, it helps to be prepared.
Here are a few tips for keeping your child safe in a crowded place:
- Have a plan. Talk with your child before you go. Remind them that you would never leave them. Tell them that the best thing they can do if they think they are lost is to stay put, rather than to come looking for you. Tell them to find a "mommy" with a child to ask for help, or to locate a nearby security guard or employee.
- Dress loudly. Dress your child in bright colors that will be easy to spot.
- Snap a photo. Take a picture of your child with your cell phone on the day you head out, so that you can remember what he/she was wearing that day.
- Teach your child your full name and phone number, and/or include their information on a tattoo or wristband in case they become lost. Until your child is old enough to remember your phone number, ID wristbands and tattoos can be used. These bands store your emergency contact information, as well as medical conditions and allergies.
- Stay calm and ask for help. If your child gets lost, find the nearest employee and ask for help. Most amusement parks, airports, and other tourist spots have procedures in place to reunite lost children with their parents.
Finally, when you are reunited with your child, congratulate them on being brave and following your plan. If he/she didn't follow your plan, calmly take the opportunity to remind him/her what to do should they ever become lost again.
Bonus: ID bands are great for kids and Sophia thinks they are great for parents too. Check out her clever idea for keeping track of her dad.
June is National Safety Month and our Travel ID Wristbands are the perfect parenting tool for vacations. These durable, waterproof bands discreetly store emergency and contact information - including your child's name, your hotel/flight number, two emergency contact numbers, and medical conditions or allergies - on the inside of the band and safe from prying eyes.