I had the pleasure of taking my son, Jake, to the Panthers game a couple weeks ago. He had been to a couple games already in his short little 4-year old life, but this was the first one where it was just the two of us. We had club seats and made a big deal out of it. I am a HUGE Panther’s fan and wasn’t sure how things would play out … i.e. how much of the game would I really get to see or would we constantly be up and down for drinks and potty and then endure the unending stream of questions “is it over yet, when can we go home??” I was pleasantly surprised at his sudden interest in the game, players and even trying to understand the rules. I got such a kick out of his “taunting” the players and he even took the cue from the fans seated in front of us to bang his seat when it was 3rd and long for the other team!
So at half time we head up to the club level to hit the bathrooms and grab a drink. As we walk through the doors, we are instantly hit with a rush of people walking by and I have to grab Jake’s hand to keep him close by. Okay – so this is where my real fear sets in: what if I lose my son in this crowd of people?? I can picture it now … some excited fans walk by, jostling into us. His hand slips out of mine and he is carried away by a sea of strangers as I catch just a glimpse of his panicked little face. Then a stranger approaches him and offers him candy to go away with him …. (this is were you would see the words “over dramatization of actual events” flash across the bottom of the screen!) I know, I know – I’m probably being way over paranoid (don’t even get me started on freak accidents that will probably NEVER happen … I’m obsessed with them but that’s a whole other topic). I think it’s this crazy mom gene that kicks in once you have kids – you just can’t help it!
Anyway … on to the point of my post today. We’ve picked up a couple little tricks and tips along the way that I thought I’d share with you all, specifically to help in the situation where we find ourselves in a large crowd of people and have the potential to lose a child. We started putting a business card (or something along those lines) with our cell phone numbers written on it in Jake’s pocket as soon as he was able to walk. Then if he gets lost, he should give that to someone so they could call us. Obviously, the older he’s gotten, the more reliable that method becomes. We’ve also struggled with the “don’t talk to strangers” rule. When you get lost, everyone is a stranger! So we tell him to find another mommy to help him, figuring that would be the safest bet. We also work with him constantly to memorize my husband’s cell phone number so if there ever is a situation where he doesn’t have the business card in is pocket, hopefully he will remember that.
I know there are several other things you can do to protect your child, however I don’t have any personal experience with any of these. There are programs like Kidsafe Id that provides both the kids and parents/caregivers an ID card. They promote the value in parents having a card as well so you don’t have to rely on your memory in a panicked situation but rather can give all the info to law enforcement to start looking for your child immediately. The Panther’s have a “Tag a Kid” program where you sign up for it on game day and your child gets a wrist band to help event staff escort your child back to their seat. I think most major events have similar type programs.
Hopefully none of us will ever have to face the traumatic event of losing a child, but it never hurts to try and be prepared. Please share any tips you may have or let us know if you’ve tried any of the programs mentioned above. And I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween tonight!
When we went to Disney we bought a device that fits on my son’s shoe and I had the remote and if he got lost I would hit the remote and his shoe would start to beep to help us find him (or scare off the person who might have approached him). We have also stressed finding a parent with kids if he gets lost or the person working at the store but we have also stressed that he should never leave the store that he got lost in and try to find us. He needs to stay in the place that he got lost in and we will find him. This came about after we got seperated in the Toys and Co store at Cotswold which has 3 different doors to leave the store, he went down a different isle than me and thought we had gone outside, but I was still inside looking for him, found him outside in the courtyard as he was going into a different store becuase he was looking for me. After that our new rule is for the kids to stay in the place where they got seperated from us and find either a parent or a employee at the store
i use to fly frequently with my toddler to see my parents and i would not be able to sleep the night before for fear of loosing her in the airport.I always tell her to find someone that works in the store if she gets lost. We tell her to look for someone with a name tag on. where did you get the device to put on your child’s shoe?
in either the sensational beginings catalog or the step by step catalog.
For those of you with young toddlers, Safetytat.com makes custom temporary tattoos for kids with info like phone numbers and allergies. My kids are too old for these so I never got to try them but I think it’s a great way to supplement teaching your kids what to do when they get lost.
I am very interested in the device to put in the child’s shoe or clothing. We are going to South Africa with our 4 month old to see my husband’s family and although I’ve been there before and feel safe – I would LOVE to have that added security. Any idea where I can get one quick – we leave Dec 9th.
The web site http://WWW.mypreciouskid.com has a large selection of saftey devices and id cards. They also have a list of travel saftey suggestions from Disneland.I ordered from them one time and had no problem.
Check out http://www.notlosttot.comA fellow Charlotte mom came up with this idea when her toddler became a wanderer. I have these stamps for my kids.
OMG we have 2 NotLostTot stamps – we won one in a raffle at the walk for Autism at the speedway last year – we LOVE it as our child with Autism does not like to wear anything that would helpt to identify him if he were lost – and since he's non-verbal – this stamp is a marvel! We also use it on toys, stuff animal tags and books that we often take with us and WE would be lost without them… LOVE it!!
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