Frugal Family Fun: What to do when your child is lost.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What to do when your child is lost.

This past weekend, my husband and I had the scariest experience of our lives. We were at a local festival, where they had the park set up with dozens of booths for kids day. There must have been over 500 people in a park no bigger than 2 ½ acres. Well, we were getting ready to leave and my husband spotted a friend. I was going to the picture booth and had our youngest with me. My husband had our middle child and my oldest daughter was going to go with me but decided to go with daddy. After getting the picture that we had taken earlier, I went back to the spot I had left my husband. He was there with our middle daughter, but our oldest was no where to be found.

We both began to hunt the aisles of the fair for her, trying frantically to spot the little blonde girl in the swarms of people. As minute after minute ticked by, I began to get more and more scared, trying to figure out what went wrong and where she could be. Finally I spotter her across the way with a woman carrying her to the entertainment stage. I literally shoved my stroller through the crowd as I ran to get her. As I made my way I could hear the woman on the microphone, saying my daughter's name, that she really wants to find her parents Lisa and Brian and she's 4 years old. That was the happiest reunion ever!!! She was crying, I was was emotional!! I was so proud that she knew to find a nice woman to help her, and was able to tell her name, age and parent's names, even in a scary situation!! Here are my tips to helping your child be prepared if this should happen to you!!:

1. As soon as your child begins to speak, teach them her or his name. First and last. We even taught mine her middle name!! For us this began just after she turned 1, and by 18 months she had quite the vocabulary!
2. Teach your child the names of you and your spouse. Again first and last. Especially if somebody has a different last name than the child. The more info the child can supply in an emergency the better!

3. Teach your child to find a nice looking woman. Sorry to offend all you men out there, but it is more likely a man will snatch a child than a woman, NOT THAT WOMEN ARE NOT CAPABLE OF DOING SO. But generally it is recommended to seek an adult woman or police officer to help you. Or tell your child to find a woman with kids of her own.

4. When they are older, teach address and phone number. Of course teach them discretion as to when and with who they should share this, but its important to know in the case that they are kidnapped and will help reuniting happen faster.
5. Tell your child to try to stay in one spot if they should get separated from you. This makes it easier to find them and quicker too.

What do you do if your child goes missing?

If you are in public, search the immediate area you are in and last saw your child. Ask if anyone has seen your child. Always be sure you know what your child is wearing. If there are security guards or police, notify them of the missing child. If not, seek the customer service desk or an employee for help.

If your child is not found within a few minutes, contact authorities to help you find him/her. Time is precious and if your child has been abducted you want to be sure to get someone on the case a.s.a.p.

If your teen is missing, contact friends and family and see if anyone knows anything. Cases can be runaways or abductions, and you can never be too cautious. Your child's safety is the number one priority.

For more tips, visit these websites:

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children


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