As a parent, there’s nothing more terrifying than turning your head for a second and losing your child. Toddlers are quick! So it doesn’t surprise me when I hear parents say they looked away “just for a second” and their child was gone.
What do you do if you’re in a crowded store and you lose your child? Here are some helpful tips to help you get reunited with your little one as fast as possible!
Call out their name, their age, and what they have on:
If you lose your child, the best way to help others help you find them is to call out exactly what they have on, their name, and how old the child is. And scream this out so you can get others to help you! “I’ve lost my son, his name is Christian, he’s 3 years old, he’s wearing a red t-shirt, blue shorts and has a teddy bear with him.” And now repeat this 100 times if you have to. Someone is bound to hear you and want to help and the best-case scenario spots your child thanks to your description. When traveling, it’s always best to dress your child in bright colors so they can be spotted easier.
Teach them your phone number:
If you lose your child and they happen to find a helpful adult, it would expedite the process of being reunited if your child knew your phone number. One way to do this is to write out your number on a large sheet and tape it on a common wall at home, practice learning it with them, and even turn it into a song or jingle. If they’re too young to memorize your number you can also have simple bracelets made with your info on them. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling.
Use the power of technology:
Apple makes these great little tags you can purchase called “Air Tags,” which are $29 each and can be linked to your phone. It works the same way that “Find My Phone” does. You can add a tag with your child’s name on it and add it to your existing app on your phone. This is especially helpful if you have a child who goes to school and you can have the tag stay in their backpack. Bonus points: if they lose their backpack, you can also find that easily!
Make a plan:
If you’re going to be traveling somewhere that’s super crowded, whether it’s a big tourist attraction or even Disneyland, it’s always helpful to make a plan. Teach your child where the “safety area” is in case they get lost, they should go back to that spot and you’ll be waiting for them there.
Make sure you have a recent photo:
This probably goes without saying but make sure you have a recent photo of your child. If you’re traveling and you know your child tends to wander off, take a photo every day of what they have on so you’ll have the most recent image available.
Teach them WHO to ask for help from:
We’re always teaching our children about the dangers of strangers, but when they’re lost, they’ll need an adult to help them get reunited with you. Teach your children that in those cases, look for “another mommy” to help them. Other mothers will go out of their way to help your child find you because they’ll sympathize with your situation and the desperation that comes with losing your child.
And hey, mama, accidents happen. Kids wander off. That doesn’t make you a bad mommy.