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.
- 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.