Lost at Walmart

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with some friends about child safety and we got on the topic of what to teach our children to do if they find themselves lost at Walmart or another such store (note: we were talking about children who do not yet have cell phones). I had some ideas but I needed some clarity, so I did a bit of research and this is what I found.

[red_arrow_list width=”100%”]

  • The first thing they should do is to remain calm, stop and look around…often, the person they’re looking for is close-by or will return to where they last saw them, so a child’s best bet is to initially stay where they are.
  • Next, they should call out the real name of the person they are looking for (i.e. “Mommy” may not be as effective for getting their mother’s attention as “Cindy Johnson”).
  • Still no luck? They should enlist the help of a nearby woman with children (this is generally a child’s safest and best bet for assistance) and ask if she could call their ‘missing’ parent’s cell phone.


Be sure to instruct your child to NEVER LEAVE THE PUBLIC AREA with a stranger, even if the person insists that they are trying to help them or that their parent is hurt.  Talk about these strategies with your children today and help keep them safe!

For more tips on what to teach your children to do if they get lost, check out this great article from Parents magazine http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/child-gets-lost/?page=5.

If you’re interested in teaching your children how to keep themselves safe, you may wish to read my posts on Preventing and treating frostbite, Thunderstorm safety and Bike Safety Rules.




If your child gets lost

It has got to be one of the scariest experiences for a parent…you’re at a mall, amusement park or public event and you look around to find out your child is no longer with you.  Your heart pounds and you feel panic rising in your chest.  What do you do if your child gets lost and what should you teach your child to do?

I thought this post was timely, given that it is fall fair season.  In all the excitement, kids can forget to stay close by.  Add in the crowds and the ear-splitting noise and you’ve got the optimal conditions for parent/child separation.

That’s why, prior to heading to the fair (or the mall, etc.), it is important that you come up with a plan of what to do if you and your child become separated.  Review this plan with your child and make sure you are on the same page.

If, despite your best efforts, your child gets lost, make sure you remain calm and follow through on the plan.  When they are safety returned to you, do your best not to get angry and, if deserved, to praise them for following the agreed-upon safety plan.

Read this article for some tips on what to teach your child to do if they get lost.


Click here to read this article in full.

We all do our best to keep an eye on our kids, but the reality is that sometimes “things happen”, despite our diligence.  That’s why we should take some time to teach our children what to do if they should get separated from us.  Skills like these will help to keep them safe!

If your children’s safety is important to you, you may also wish to read my posts on Bike Safety and Sun Safety.