A momentary distraction, a moving crowd, a sudden urge to wander on their own: children have many ways to get lost, and many parents have already experienced the panic wave that swamps you when you realise that you have lost sight of a child! Limit that risk by teaching your children the right reflexes!
Going back to the starting point when they are lost
Teach your children to memorize your starting point when you are out on a walk: the place where you parked the car, the metro station where you came out, etc. You can also advise them to go back to the place where they last saw you, before they lost sight of you. In that case, you must be vigilant as well and memorize your itinerary, so that you too can walk back!
Asking for help
Asking an adult for help is usually a good idea, but your children should be aware that certain “grown-ups” may not be trustworthy… Teach them to spot the people they can trust and walk up to them if they are lost: policemen, security guards, shopkeepers, etc. You can also count on spontaneous help from passersby, especially if your child is young.
Memorizing your contact information
It seems obvious, but it is necessary, even at the earliest age! As soon as your children have the ability to learn things “by heart”, help them memorize your home address, as well as your mobile phone number.
The lost child instinct: teach them not to run
They suddenly lose sight of you and panic! Some children will spontaneously start running in every direction to find their family: anxiety makes you lack judgement and make irrational decisions. Teach your children to stay put and look around as calmly as possible.
Wear tracking devices
They are more and more easy to find: disposable plastic identification bracelets are incredibly popular, especially in the summer, on the beach! Beaches are one of the most common spots for these anxiety crises to occur: it only takes seconds for your child to walk into the water for a few meters and lose all visual cue when he/she gets out of the water… Little tip: in this kind of situation, children will naturally run with their back to the sun!
An even more simple and efficient device, in any situation: a GPS tracker! You know the exact position of your children at all times, and they can easily reach you if they feel lost. It’ll keep you from worrying, however it shouldn’t prevent you from teaching your children the right reflexes: it’ll always be useful!Make your child memorize your telephone number: it is worth the effort. Click To Tweet