First: Prepare before you set out
- Put your phone number in writing
- Dress your kids in a bold color
- Take a "before" picture
They're Gone! Now What?
- Quickly Search the Area
- Notify an Employee
- Call the police
During the summer season, this is a growing concern for many parents. The kids are off from school trips to the zoo, fairs, amusement parks and the like are much more frequent. There are several steps that you can take in order to prevent a worst-case scenario.
Step 1: Put your phone number in writing.
Even if your child has your cell phone number memorized, it's still a good idea to have it written on a piece of paper and kept in a place that he or she can easily find it.
Step 2: Wear a bold color.
Dress your child in a bright, easy to spot color that will make them easier to see in a crowd. The bright color may also detract predators. Make sure to put a bold marking on your stroller as well.
Step 3: Take a "Before" Picture.
With smart phones it's now super easy to take a picture of your child right before you head out. The picture will be current AND they'll be pictured in the clothes they're wearing that day.
OK, now for the scenario where thay have been separated from you. They're gone, now what do you do?
Step 1 - Do a Quick Cursory Search
Stay still and scan the area. Look towards spots that may have attracted their attention. It's OK to call out their name and get their attention since they may still be in earshot.
Step 2 - Get Help Fast
If you're in a retail or commercial setting, see the closest employee to notify them. Major organizations should have a "missing child action plan". If you can, send someone else so that you can stay in the immediate area.
Step 3 - Call the Police
Experts suggest to get the police involved if you can't find your child after 5 to 10 minutes. Trust your instincts; don't talk yourself out of calling if your gut says call.
PS. Click Here to see what to teach your child to do in case they get separated from you.