|While there is no substitute for parental / caregiver attention, the|
best preparation is to put a note or tag with your cell phone number on
your child in an easily accessible place.
This allows another adult to see and use it to quickly contact you
(or the caregiver that is out with your child).
Young children, or some special needs children who cannot speak, should
Children in Bright, Special “Away from Home” Clothing
To help spot children easily, dress them in very brightly colored
external clothing such as a t-shirt, hat, or jacket. Very bright yellow or green works best. Some parents routinely dress themselves and their children in
the same color when they are going out to crowded places. Bright
apparel can also serve as a key identifier for others helping you to find
your missing child.
a Recent Photo and Description of Each Child
a recent photo of your child is one of the most important things you can
do for their safety. On the
back of the photo, note the child’s eye color, hair color, height,
weight, and any birthmarks or other distinguishing marks.
If your child is one of multiples, note that as well.
Be sure to put your cell number on the back, too.
Do this for each of your children.
If you need assistance from other people to find your child, having
that photo and information available can make a real difference in a quick
and successful reunion.
Your Child to Ask Another Mommy for Help
scared child may not be able to find a trusted authority quickly.
It is difficult to even describe a typical guard or officer.
Teach your children to enlist help from another mother.
Children intuitively know that a mommy is a woman with other kids.
This is one type of ‘stranger’ that you do want your child to talk to
if he / she needs help. Also,
right before you arrive at a public place, remind your child what to do if
they get lost.
you go out to a public place, even the supermarket, and you return without
your child getting lost, tell them that they were good for staying with you the entire time while you were
out. Positive reinforcement
is the best way to elicit the behavior you want from your child.
What to Do Immediately When Your Child Is Lost
public places such as retail stores, amusement parks, and beaches now have
specific lost child procedures such as lock downs.
If your child does get lost, try to remain calm and quickly find an
onsite employee to trigger the venue’s lost child process. Don’t wander too far away from the spot where you last saw
your child. Often the child
is still nearby. If you sense
that your child is more than just temporarily lost, call the police. It is better to call back to report that you have found your
child than to lose any precious time that can make a critical difference
in safely finding your child.
Celebrate, Don’t Berate When You Are Reunited
are reunited with your child, be sure to congratulate them for following the instructions you taught them in case
they get lost.
Reiterate how important