Although we are always careful to keep an eye on our wee ones, this period of time requires extra, eagle-eyed attention to help keep them safe. Large and often overwhelming crowds mean an increased chance of getting separated from your child, with bus stations, parks, supermarkets, shopping malls and event venues topping the list of places children go missing. We have compiled some helpful tips from local authorities, the media and parents just like yourself!
Consider dressing your child in bright colors, such as yellow or red. This (presumably) will help you spot them easily in a group environment. A recognizable hat or pair of shoes (or other easily recognizable piece of clothing) is also recommended.
Take a picture of what they are wearing
A photo beats the heck out of a thousand panicked words when trying to describe to someone what your missing kid looks like. Be sure the image includes their face and clothing– key details when trying to find a missing person.
Your cellphone may not work when traveling internationally, which is why it’s a good idea to travel with a card or piece of paper printed with your name, the names of your children, hotel details, key addresses and phone numbers (as well as any other information you deem necessary) for your child to carry.
Designate a meeting spot
Yes, a spot. Not a ‘place.’ It needs to be as specific as possible, say, a notable establishment or a particular street corner. When panic sets in, you may find it difficult to spot your child, even if he or she is in your immediate vicinity. This is why it is important to pick a spot, confirm it with your children and make it crystal-clear they need to wait there until you arrive – even if it takes a while.
If one of the members needs to leave the group for a while, for example, your kid needs to use the bathroom, it’s better that all of you go together so that no one gets separated. When travelling in larger groups, each child should be assigned to a specific adult to look after them.
Know who can help
Shopping malls, airports and parks should have procedures to deal with missing kid situations. The staff will aid in broadcasting and searching when you ask them for help. Make note of the contact information of local police.
Staying in arm’s reach
Always remind your wee ones to stay close. Rehearse with your kids what they should do if they get lost so that they can keep in mind what you have told them. Most importantly, stay calm!
Peace of mind requires forethought and planning. Got your own tips for how to keep track of your kids while travelling? Leave a message below to share your near misses and success stories. All of us at Urban Family wish you safe and pleasant travels in the new year！