As with any other emergency plan, it is essential to review and practise your family’s strategy in the event that a child goes missing.
Children can be nimble on their feet, especially in a busy area. One moment they are by your side, and the next, they are sprinting to the candy store you forbade them from entering or skipping down the aisle of their favourite toy store.
Losing your child in a public area can be a harrowing experience.
The most effective precautions are always those that are taken before disaster strikes. Before taking your child out in public, it is advisable to consider some safety measures.
Here are a few tips for preventing the loss of your child in shopping centres, amusement parks, beaches, and playgrounds.
- Teach children to keep nearby, and practise doing so before venturing into public. Remind them that even if they find something they’re particularly interested in, it’s best to stay close and ask you whether the group can investigate than stray off on their own.
- Establish a fixed meeting location and discuss who your child should approach for assistance, such as a store employee. Having a separation plan in place will make you and your child feel less anxious in busy places.
- Teach your child specific information that would be useful if they were lost. Ensure that they know your cellphone phone number. For small children, write your phone number on their hand in case they need it.
- Take recent photos of your child. These can be useful if someone needs to assist you two in reuniting.
- You and your child should wear bright colours to make it easier to find one another. This will help you both stand out and provide quick identification should you become separated.
- If you still can’t find your child, immediately notify security officers or patrol vehicles on the scene and call the local police. Time is crucial once a child has been separated from you.