4 Things to Teach Your Child if They Get Lost

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Lost child

As parents we all know how scary and easy it can be to become separated and lose sight of a child, especially at this time of year when we all try to get out and about during the summer months, be it a crowed shopping centre, a packed beach or a bustling airport. As a mother of 3 young children, I can just about manage to maneuver with one on my own, never mind keep an eye on all 3. If I’m by myself, it can be a daunting task just to do my weekly grocery shop.

I don’t want to scare him or to dampen his adventurous spirit, as I believe a child should be allowed the freedom to enjoy the wonder of being a child for as long as they can.
We teach our children not to talk to strangers, not to go off with anyone without our permission even if they are known to them but then we expect them to go up to a random person and ask for help if they find themselves lost or separated from their group. The question I found myself asking was: what do I teach my children to do if they find themselves alone in a strange place? Who is safe to go and ask for help? My eldest is 4 going on 14. He loves to wander and explore and has no fear what so ever, which is something I love about him but also it is what scares me most when we do go to a busy place. I don’t want to scare him or to dampen his adventurous spirit, as I believe a child should be allowed the freedom to enjoy the wonder of being a child for as long as they can before they have to learn the world isn’t always an amazing and safe place to be.
Every minute felt like an hour searching up and down the supermarket aisles before he was discovered in a café close by, sitting patiently for his lunch.
Trying to explain what a ‘safe’ adult is isn't the easiest thing to do. Yes, most children know what a policeman and fireman Sam looks like but those heroes may not be readily available or as easy to spot as you would think. If you look at the world from a child’s eye view, especially a young child, it would probably just look like a sea of legs, not the easiest vantage point to see adult’s faces or uniforms. I lost my eldest in my local shopping centre. I was paying for my groceries while attending to my new born at the till point when all of a sudden he was gone. Every minute felt like an hour searching up and down the supermarket aisles before he was discovered in a café close by, sitting patiently for his lunch. You see, in his mind, we had finished our grocery shopping and now it was time to eat, so he went off to our usual spot leaving me lost and frightened, frantically searching for him. I will never forget it as long as I live. So after much thought, I have come up with four easy things that you can teach your children so they know what to do in case they get lost.

4 things you can tell children to do if they get lost

  1. Tell your child to look for another mommy to ask for help. Us, moms, are the most recognizable group in the world if you think about it and the simplest and safest person for a child of even a very young age to identify, as they would probably would be with other children and more approachable.
  2. Have at least a mobile number on your child which is easily accessible for them to give to someone to contact you, especially if they are too young to memorize it.
  3. If you are going somewhere new for the first time, make a point of a choosing a meeting point if you do get separated, somewhere very public and easy to get to.
  4. Have them wearing and iDME band, a Velcro ID wristband for kids with an insert card tucked away securely within with all the details necessary to reunite the child with their parents.

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