Sure, losing money in the markets is scary, but losing a child in a crowd is downright terrifying for moms. (Well, now that we’re over the fear of labour.) And at this time of year, with malls, airports, concert halls and a host of other crowded, stranger-filled places on the agenda, it’s worth reviewing your loss prevention strategy and what to do if the unthinkable does happen.
We consulted one of our favourite parenting books, Parking Lot Rules and 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children by Tom Sturges, for some very savvy tips on avoiding lost children.
We particularly like his ‘Stay Where You Are and Fly Like an Angel’ rule. Explain to your child that if she discovers she has been separated from the group, to stop and stay where she is, not to run for security, try to find you and, most importantly, not to hide. Next she should draw attention to herself by waving her arms up and down as broadly as possible (like an angel). As soon as you realize she is lost, retrace your steps and look for the waving arms of your child. (If she had been asking for something and you said no, head back to that spot first.)
Whenever you are going to be in a crowd, dress your child in easily identifiable clothing (the book suggests an NFL jersey but that might not work for everyone) that allows you to keep him in sight, and to be able to provide an accurate description of what he was wearing to security or police in case he does wander off. Conversely, parents should dress in a distinctive manner (consider it an excuse to wear your favourite Hawaiian shirt or baseball hat) so children have something to keep their eyes on as well. To help with identifying your child, make sure you have a current photo with you (one SavvyMom we know takes a picture with her cellphone camera at the beginning of each outing so she has an accurate record of exactly what each child is wearing that day).
Tagged under: Getting lost,Lost child,Lost children,Losing a child