Going to a Crowded Place and What to do if You Are Separated from Your Child

Do you have a trip to a theme park or the beach coming up? Going to places where the crowds of people are thick and it is difficult to keep track of your child can be a nerve-wracking experience. This is especially increased if your child is very eager to run and play.

It is one of the scariest feelings in the world to find yourself in a situation where you can’t find your child. Your baby is going to be feeling the same fears which will only add to your anxiety. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File, as of December 31, 2016, there are 33,706 active missing person records for juveniles under the age of 18.

Even if you have drilled into your child to NOT leave your side, children can become distracted and wander off. By the time you realize your child is no longer next to you, they may have gotten so far away that you can no longer see them in the immediate area. This is when the panic begins and focus is diminished.

A few tips that could come in handy:

  • Establish a meeting place immediately. Select an easy-to-remember location, and tell your child to go to that spot if they cannot find you and to wait there until you arrive.
  • Teach your children to memorize your phone number. If your child does not have a cell phone of their own yet, your child can find someone and ask them to call their parents for them.

  • If your child is too young to memorize a phone number, take a brightly colored, waterproof wristband and write your phone number on it. Use a wristband that the child can’t remove on their own as well as a marker that won’t smudge or wash off if it were to get wet. Chances are, the person who locates your child will notice the brightly colored wristband has a phone number on it and will attempt to call it.

  • Dress your child in a brightly colored outfit. Although the child may want to wear a Mickey Mouse shirt at Disney, most likely, many children will be wearing a similar shirt. When trying to scan a crowd, a neon color will stand out more and you will have an easier time seeing it.

  • Before you arrive to your location, take a picture of your child. In the event they are missing, you will be panicked and flustered and may not remember exactly what they were wearing. Police assisting in locating the child will ask you to provide a description of them. A picture of the child in their current outfit can be shown to police for an accurate depiction of the child rather than relying on memory.

  • Offer to text or email this picture to the officer so they can refer to it while searching. The officer will then be able to distribute this picture quickly to their fellow officers assisting in the search.

A child can become separated from you in the blink of an eye. Don’t let your day of fun be ruined by this accident. If you are missing your child, try to stay calm and focused. Using the provided tips can decrease the time you are away from your child or even prevent the incident altogether.

Do you have a trip coming up? Check out Top Tips For Planning Vacations With Kids.

Source: 2016 NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Statistics

Photo Credits: Sasha Staton, Pixabay

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Sasha Staton

Sasha is a new mother to her baby boy and is loving motherhood! Sasha has dedicated her career to protecting the public and has served in almost every realm of public safety. Sasha is the Spokesperson for a Fire Department and is committed to teaching both children and adults about fire safety and prevention. Before diving into the fire service, she was a triple certified Law Enforcement Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, and Ocean Rescue Lifeguard. Sasha received her undergraduate degree in Family, Youth, and Community Science from the University of Florida and also holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In her free time, Sasha loves traveling with her family, doing DIY projects, and all water activities, especially kayaking with her two dogs on board.

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