Recently I was shopping at a big box store and I came upon a sobbing lost child in the main aisle. She was obviously lost and distraught. Nobody was stopping to help her. I gently approached and helped locate her mother. She was wearing a shirt from the elementary school both my daughters attended. This school has the kindergarten children memorize their parent’s phone number. It paid off that day. It was an area code from another state and she recited all 10 digits clearly. I called her mom right away and they were reunited.
Do your kids know what to do if they get lost from you? Have you developed simple plans of actions if it happens? Here’s what your kids need to know if they get lost.
Vital Information to Provide Authority
Every child should know the following:
- Parent’s 10-digit phone number
- Full home address
- Parent’s full name and description
This information is invaluable in an emergency. I was able to contact the lost girl’s mother only because her daughter knew the number and described her to me.
Seek Trusted Help
We should teach our children before this moment who to seek for help. I was nervous about getting involved with helping a little girl. I was a man who was a stranger to her in a public place. I was not the ideal candidate to approach and help. Yet, I witnessed two moms with kids push their carts right by her without noticing. I had to act. I was extremely careful and gentle and kept my distance from her. The best people to seek out would be the police, security guards, the fire department, and store management and employees. If these can’t be found, teach them to seek a mom with young children.
Establish a Meeting Place
It’s a very good idea to find a simple and central location to meet if the parent gets separated from the child. The ideal location would be near or surrounded by the location’s security. Instruct your child to stay put and you will come for them right away.
Practice “What if” Scenarios
Practice makes perfect. Emergency planners are constantly running drills to be ready in the event of a real emergency. We as parents should do the same with our children.
- Have them recite the vital information
- Drill on finding an agreed location
- Drill on who we seek out for help
Inspire CourageIt’s wise to inspire our children not to panic in an emergency.
My first thought when I saw her tears was the lost child’s fear. It broke my heart. Yet, that small child was wonderfully courageous as she provided me the information I needed to help her. It’s wise to inspire our children not to panic in an emergency. To keep their wits about them and find the solution we’ve taught them. She did.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with the family tonight and run a drill with your kids on what to do if they get lost