Does Your Child Know What to Do if They Get Lost?
Festival season is quickly approaching plus we have numerous beaches, theme parks, and malls nearby. All of these places bring with them confusion, tons of people, and the ability to easily get lost in a crowd. No parent wants to think of their child getting lost, but if the worst scenario does occur and they become separated from you, it’s important that your child knows what to do. Here are some practical tips and advice on helping your child learn what to do if they get lost.
The rule is : if you can see them, they can see you. This goes a long way in preventing children getting lost.
Focus on the three W‘s. What to do, Where to go, and Who to speak to.
In a chaotic situation, children can easily become terrified and their first instinct might be to run around looking for you. Teach them to STAY PUT where they last saw you, because it will be the first place you will look for them. The next thing they should do is to look for a responsible adult. Yes, we teach them about stranger danger and not to talk to strangers, but when lost it’s important that they can go up to an adult and ask for help. For example, in a shop, this could be the check out or customer service desk at the front, at the beach it could be the lifeguard hut or at the theme park it may be a uniformed security, a member of staff usually someone wearing a name tag or the central information desk. When they’re asking for help there are a few things they need to know in order for the adult to help them.
- Their first and last name
- Their parents’ name
- How to spell their name
- Your phone number
- Home address
Another important thing to teach them is to NEVER, under any circumstances, go off with a stranger without asking their parents permission first. These days most everyone has a phone and can contact you, the authorities, or the facility where the child has been lost. They should know not to go off to “look for mommy or daddy” and never get in a car with a stranger.
It’s important to have conversations like these with your children so in the event they get lost, they are prepared, know how to react appropriately, and remain calm.
When out and about practice these tips with your child by asking which adult around you your child would approach if they were separated from you.
Remember to keep things fun with your child although it’s a serious subject.