Thursday, December 4, 2008

Children getting lost

Yesterday evening I was walking towards a grocery store as a 3 or 4-year-old boy came out the door. He shouted “Mom!” and when nobody answered tried to go back in the store. However, he wasn’t heavy enough to activate the automatic door and was about to cry when I offered to help him find his mom.

We went back into the grocery store and asked a cashier to have his mom paged. Soon his mom appeared with her cart and called out for him. He ran to be joyfully reunited with her. Although this story has a happy ending, it’s easy to imagine how it could turn out poorly.

Although as parents we try to keep track of our children, children do get lost. What can you do to reduce the chance that your children will get lost and help them make wise choices if they do become lost?
  • Give your children responsibility for keeping track of you. They are less likely to get lost when they have this responsibility.
  • Let them know you will never leave a store without them so they should always stay in the store if they are lost.
  • Explain how to locate an adult who can help them.
  • Teach your children your first name, not just Mom or Dad
  • If you have young children, consider using a harness where you can hold onto a strap.
One mom created tags with important information for her children to wear in their shoes. Each tag had a picture of the family, along with names and phone numbers. She was reassured that her children had this important information with them should they need it.

If you have other tips to help children handle being lost, please add your comments.
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