Most parents experience at some time that sickening moment when they realize that they have lost sight of their child when they are out and about. By taking a few precautionary measures, parents and caregivers can minimize the risks and have a plan for what to do next.
• Always impress upon youngsters the importance of staying with the group and not wandering off alone.
• When you reach your destination, decide on a designated meeting point that children can find easily should they become detached from the rest of the party.
• Write down your cell phone number and put it in the child’s pocket before you set out. Let the child know that it is there and that he/she should give it to an appropriate person if they get lost.
• Advise children that if they need assistance they should only approach someone such as a security guard, police officer or someone who is clearly a member of the staff.
• Always take careful note of what children are wearing before you set out, or better still, take a photo of them on your cell phone.
• If you are going somewhere that is very crowded, try to ensure that children are wearing something bright that will help them stand out from the crowd.
• If possible, provide older children with a cell phone and youngsters with a walkie-talkie so that you can communicate with them.