Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tag Your Child Before They Get Lost

What would you do if you lost your child in the crowd? Do your children know what to do if they got lost in the crowd?
I've been pondering on these questions a bit lately. Today I took my kids to Petrosains and of course, being the school holidays they were lots of people. I was a bit worried as I knew I hadn't drilled enough safety procedures into my kids. Took the train (LRT) the other day with my kids and realized I hadn't briefed them on what to do if one of us got on/off and the other didn't. Had a quick lesson right then and there. Before any trip I make sure the kids are aware of the dangers of running off without me. Here are my two usual threats (I know I need to tone down on the threats and be more positive):

1. If you run off someone might grab you and take you home with them. Then you cannot see Mommy anymore.
2. If I can't find you I will have to go home without you ok?

My rule is that they must ALWAYS stay close or hold hands. But even then, we never know when mishaps happen. It usually takes a couple of seconds for them to get lost. Anyway, my worry is also due to the fact they my kids have yet to memorize my phone number or the house address. Thank goodness they at least know what their parents' names are. Yes, our names are not Mommy and Daddy.

I've been thinking of making an "Info Tag" for them to carry -- something that has my name, their name, my phone number and the house address etc.... Today I just scribbled my name and number on a piece of paper, put in their pockets and told my children to have someone call me if they get lost. But I think I need to make something more lasting and also add in information for the person that finds them.
Plus I need to also teach them who to approach. God forbid they approach the wrong person and end up in a worse situation (I shudder at the thought). Read in an article that it is best for children to approach other mothers that have children with them.

Well, I found this ID bracelet on the net. Looks kinda what I need. Unfortunately it's in the U.S. so I will have to stick with a homemade one.
Click here to view.

Managed to get hold of a copy of the Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. Really a great book to teach a toddler about being wary of strangers. It's got lessons like don't take presents from strangers and never to anywhere with a stranger. My favorite is Mama Bear's analogy of the barrel of apples. She says that every barrel of apple has a few bad apples. So it is with strangers. Not all are bad but some are. So we have to be careful because of the few "bad apples". Plus you can't judge a person by its appearance. Like some of the apples had a weird shape but was good on the inside. Then she pulled out a good looking apple but had worms on the inside.
Was going to put the book for sale on my bookshop but my daughter got hold of it first. If you can't wait for me to find another copy, you can download the digital format.
Get it here!
The digital format is priced at USD 2.99. I think that is a fairly reasonable price and very worthwhile, don't you think?

Here are some interesting reading for you:
1. Don't Lost Your Child!
2. Preventing Abductions
3. Suggestions for Parents for Preventing the Abduction of Your Child

In the meantime, if you have some creative ways on how to make this "Child Info Tag", let me know.


  1. A couple of weeks ago, it was reported in the newspaper that in Hong Kong, a 3-year-old boy gave his grandmother the slip and went on a bus ride into the city! He was found 2 hours later and was reunited with his family.

    Very valid concern. Adam still thinks my name is Mama.

  2. Whenever we go out, we have our helper with us. I find that Adam tends to run off when our helper is with us. Recently, the kids have gone out with me without our helper and they are learning to keep close.

  3. I have a friend who made little id necklaces for her children with their names, parents names, addresses and phone numbers on them to wear when they go out shopping. They know who to find if they are lost and the necklaces do the rest. She lamenated them and feels safe with them. I will do the same.

  4. my oh my! Just when I had a bad experience last night with Brendan & then I came across this. scary...


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