As a mom, your number one job is keeping your child safe. This is especially hard in public or crowded places where distractions are endless. Below you will find ways to prepare your children and yourself by letting them know who they can trust and ways you can keep them safe.
7 Helpful Tips You Need to Know For Your Child’s Safety in Crowded Places
Have you ever been with your child in public and looked away for 2.5 seconds, only to turn back around and find that your child is nowhere to be seen? There is a moment of calm before the storm as if you freeze, unable to move while trying to stay calm. Then you feel the panic in your heartbeat, your chest, your throat. You turn the corner and low and behold, there’s your child! Safe and sound, looking at some distraction that forced them away from you.
This feeling of your child disappearing is every mother’s worst nightmare. According to these statistics, one child goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States.
Unfortunately, it happens. Children will be distracted, they will wander off, or they just won’t listen when we tell them to stay close. Kids are kids! They aren’t always at fault. As a result, this often makes our jobs as parents even harder especially when we are in crowded public places.
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How To Prepare Children For Staying Safe
Talk with your children before arriving at your destination about how there will be a lot of people and how important it is to stay close. Let them know if they do somehow get lost or if someone makes them feel uncomfortable they can always turn to certain people for help as well. Tell them to always get help if someone is trying to hurt them, make them do something they don’t want to do, or if they are lost or scared.
WHO TO TRUST
Think about where you are going and what type of people will be there. Will there be security guards? Policemen? Military? Then describe to your children what those people should be wearing. It’s easy for most kids to find anyone in uniform. Let them know if they get lost, hurt, or need any help they should find one of the people in these uniforms.
When you arrive and before your kids get too distracted, point out details about the employees. Maybe they have certain types of shirts or hats with a logo on it. They might also have radios or walkie-talkies clipped to their waist. Show your kids these details and then ask them to point to someone who works there. Having your child point some out ensures they understand.
Another good idea is for children to find someone who also looks like a mommy or a daddy that has young kids with them. Tell your kids other parents might be people with strollers or other young children. Oftentimes other parents are more than willing to help if a child comes to them lost or upset. Actually, they will probably stay with your child and offer comfort and safety until the situation is resolved.
Tips For Keeping Your Child Safe In Public
1. Write A Phone Number On Inside Of Their Arm
These days you can get temporary stickers or tattoos with your phone number that you can put on your child. But you can also write your phone number on the inside of their forearm with a marker or Sharpie. If your child is younger, they can show the phone number to someone they trust who will know what to do. Or your child can ask to use someone’s phone and have the number right there. These days who memorizes phone numbers anyway!
2. Create A Family Password
This is valuable to have for multiple situations beyond just to use in public places. A family password is a word that only the family knows and maybe a few trusted people close to the family. It can be used as a type of security measure for kids if there is ever a questionable situation. Let’s say a stranger tries to tell your child, “your mother is hurt and she told me to pick you up.” Your child could ask what the password is and instantly know if that individual is telling the truth. Or if there is an uncomfortable situation that you can’t talk about aloud, use the family password to alert others in your family.
3. Set Up A Meeting Place
A great way to keep up with large groups is to set up one, central meeting place. It should be a place your kids recognize and could easily get to. The more visually appealing it is for your children, the more they will be able to find and remember it. This could be a giant red tent or a certain spot they enjoy so they are likely to find it easily. If someone happened to get lost, one person would stay at the meeting place. It’s important to have a home-base in crowded public places.
4. Give Each Child A Whistle
Give your child a whistle to use in an emergency. A whistle will draw attention to your child if they are in any sort of danger. If someone tries to talk to your child who shouldn’t be, your child can blow the whistle and most likely spook that individual. Also, if your child was out of sight but still in hearing distance, you could blow the whistle and listen for your child to blow the whistle in response. This way, you reach them before panic sets in.
5. Put On Bright Colors
A bright article of clothing is a great way to stand out of a crowd. Little children are hard to see in a crowd of adults. However, putting a huge bright bow or cap on your child’s head helps so you can find them much more easily. By bright, I mean a neon, electrifying color that really stands out. Usually a yellow or a green stands out most.
6. Put Away Distractions
Children aren’t the only ones who might get distracted. Parents also have distractions of their own that need to be avoided. Distracted parents can easily lose sight of their kids. This might include catching up in conversations with other people or visiting with a friend, playing on your cell phone, checking a map, reading a pamphlet or brochure, ordering concessions, or purchasing souvenirs or gifts. These are all instances when our kids are likely to wander.
7. Walking Rope For Kids
A Walking rope for kids is a long rope that also has multiple handles on each side for children to put a hand through. A parent can hold the front or back of the rope and each child puts one hand in the loop and holds on. This ultimately keeps your child from running away and teaches them how to stay together and form a line.
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Hopefully using some of these tips will save parents from the panic of losing sight of your children. These days you can never be too careful!
Do you have any tried and true tips with keeping your child safe in public situations? Share them with us in the comments!
Kelli is a working, wife, and mother of two young children with a degree in public relations. She has a blog (www.simplekindofmom.com) that covers topics about babies, toddlers, organization, kid’s health, and life as a busy mom. Kelli’s mission is to help other working or busy moms find balance and simplify the daily struggles of parenting so they can be enjoyed. Follow her on Pinterest or Instagram.