You’ve probably seen similar scenarios like this when you’re out with your family where a child gets lost in a busy environment like a shopping mall or the beach. For a parent, losing a child in an unfamiliar location is probably one of the worst and most stressful experiences to have. Nobody ever plans to lose her child, but with crowds and distractions, this is something that can happen even to careful parents.
As such, here are seven tips to avoid losing your little one on a fun family day out:
1. Dress your child in bright colours
It is easier to spot your child in a crowd when you dress them up in bright coloured clothes and accessories. Neon colours tend to stand out more than muted tones, and it draws for your immediate attention if you ever happen to lose sight of your child. You could also consider dressing up in the same colour scheme so as to make it easy for your little one to look out for you in a busy crowd.
2. Have a safety talk with your child
Before heading out to the mall, park, or the decided destination of the day, have a talk with your child about the importance of staying together and not running off on their own. In the event that they happen to lose sight of you, tell them to look for an adult to help them. You could also teach them a way to remember your cell phone number by singing it to the tune of a familiar song.
3. Remind your child to stay calm
It’s important to remind your child that they should not panic if she ever gets separated from you. Reassure her that no matter where she is, you will always find them. When you explain this in advance, it helps to assure your little one to keep calm in such situations and ensure her stress levels remain at a minimum.
4. Take a photo before your day out
At the start of your day out, make it a point to take a photo of the family together, or just your children so as to have a reference to what attire they have on. This comes in handy especially when you’re in a panic, and might easily forget things. It is also a good practice to have your children take note of what you’re wearing.
5. Choose a good meeting spot
It’s always a good idea to set a meeting spot in case anyone gets lost while out in a crowded shopping mall. This doesn’t just work for young children but also adults as well, especially if your destination is a theme park or a fair. Take them to a meeting spot and show everyone where to meet you if they ever get lost from the group. Always remember to set the meeting place at a permanent spot like a shop, or the entrance of a mall.
6. Equip your child with a form of ID
The best preparation to prevent fear and stress is to include a form of identification on your child. Having this will help shorten the time it takes for you to be reunited with your little one. These labels can come in many formats such as bracelets, badges, notes in the pocket, notes pinned inside their clothes, or a card on a lanyard. Avoid writing your child’s personal information on the label as a safety precaution, and only include your own name and mobile number.
7. Try and stay connected
While it is common knowledge, it is especially helpful to keep an eye on your child when you stay connected with them through your hands. Whether you’re walking amongst a crowd in a mall or heading towards the washroom at a park, when you hold hands with your child, you minimise the fear of losing them as you’re able to keep a closer eye on them.