There’s nothing like a nice family day out, right? Hectic schedules are often an issue for families, so a sweet weekend escape might be what you need to let off a little steam. From a simple stroll in the mall to a hike in the woods, there is an infinite number of activities that you can always enjoy with your family.
But if there’s one downside to visiting public places, it is definitely the large crowd. In the blink of the eye, you can easily lose sight of your young children. To give you a better idea about this as well as what to do in the event that you actually end up losing your child in the crowd, check out the list below.
4 Common Places Parents Lose Their Child
Before we discuss the places parents lose their child, let us have a little talk about the alarming reality about missing children.
The terror and pain brought about by a child gone missing and the fruitless searches that follow it can be unbearable for any parent. Sad truth is, this can happen to anyone. A child can get lost anywhere, even under the watchful eye of the most diligent parent.
The good news is that lost children are found quickly, some are found before the parents even realize they’re missing! Abduction cases are also extremely rare so you shouldn’t assume this immediately. According to statistics of missing kids, only 115 of the 340,500 are missing children cases actually related to kidnapping.
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The most important thing to do when your child goes missing is to have the presence of mind. Remember, panicking will lead you nowhere, and it’s only going to make you even more anxious than you already are. There is a staff of trained professionals ready to assist you whenever you need it. As a parent, you’ll also need to do your part and provide an accurate description of the child. So always remember every important detail like a distinct article of clothing (e.g., a Barbie shirt or Spider-Man shoes) or a birthmark on their body.
While losing a child is something you would never want to experience, it is more common than we all want it to be. Here are the places parents lose their child.
1. Theme park
Lost children are a common scenario in theme parks across the world. One minute you’re walking with your child and the next thing you know, they’re completely out of sight. They could have run off into a large crowd or may have been distracted by the many sights, sounds, and sensations theme parks offer.
For commercialized parks such as Disney World, an average of 11 children go missing each day. The average time they spend missing from their family is around 30 minutes. Disney World, Universal, and other popular amusement parks set limited controlled access, so chances are, your child is safe from abductors and predators. However, how you choose to spend the next minutes is crucial to their recovery. Talk to park officials immediately and let them do their job. Theme parks have dozens of experienced employees and information centers who work hard to reunite lost children with their guardians. And knowing some safety tips in theme parks will make sure that you won’t lose your kids.
The most common of all places parents lose their child is the mall. Children can disappear in a split second, so as soon as you discover that they’re no longer with you, try calling out their name and scanning the perimeter where you last saw them. If this fails, immediately alert the shop’s security guard. Security guards will then inform the management to block the mall’s entrance and exits. If the child isn’t found yet, the management may call the police for assistance. Knowing what to do when kids goes missing at the mall will help you find your kids easily.
3. Parade or an outdoor event
Nothing spells family time more than parades and outdoor fairs. But while they’re definitely fun, outdoor events seem like a whole world of risks, especially for children, so you’ll need to come prepared. Before you even arrive at the venue, set ground rules to prepare yourselves for the worst. Plan on ways to stay connected, the steps you need to take if you ever get separated, and wear easily identifiable clothing so you can spot each other quickly.
As far as crowded places go, airports are probably the busiest, making it one of the commonly reported places parents lose their child. People are always in a rush, especially when you’re in international hubs. Passengers are scouring their bags for their boarding passes and passports, and there are so many people who’ll push their way through crowds just so they don’t end up missing their plane. In other words, airports aren’t exactly the most child-friendly place around. Like all the situations mentioned on this list, try your best not to panic when you lose your child. Chances are, they could be at the same spot where you last saw them. If not, alert airport officials to have them assist you in locating your child immediately.
How to Prevent Your Child from Getting Lost
It is nearly impossible to prevent losing your child. Most of us have gone to all those places parents lose their child, and every parent has experienced at least once losing sight of their kids, even if it’s just for a few seconds. Losing your son or daughter when you’re out and about can take all the fun away from what should have been a stress-free activity. So what you can do at this point is to shorten the time it takes for you to be reunited with your kid.
Aside from reinforcing basic safety rules with your kids, you can make use of what technology has to offer in the form of lightweight GPS devices. GPS tracking devices for kids such as Trackimo offer frequent and accurate updates on your child’s current location. You can easily attach the device to a child’s backpack or belt. For more security, parents can take advantage of Trackimo’s GPS watch. The device connects straight to an app accessible through your smartphone or website.
Identification cards are also handy when it comes to public and crowded places. Have your child wear them around their necks as a lanyard. This allows staff to identify them immediately. For safety reasons, you don’t need to place their address or their full names, a simple surname, and your mobile number will suffice.
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