In the UK around 140,000 children a year get lost or go missing, that is over one child every 5 minutes. (This is not to say that they are being abducted – lets understand that this is very rare.)
Every parent has had that feeling of not knowing where their child is! Children have a habit of running off in busy areas such as supermarkets, airports, amusement parks and even from their own garden. The question is how do you, the parent, react when your child goes missing?
This is a worrying issue which parents don’t like to face but parents should be prepared in case the worst does happen and your child . Having your child’s up-to-date information on hand when you are out with your children is vital to allow you to react effectively if they do go missing. This is to ensure that the police or nearest authorities can have the information they need (such as name, picture and latest clothing) as soon as possible so they can react and find your child.
Keep your child safe by giving them the following advise dependent on their age.
Tell them about the importance of staying close, if they go off alone make sure they tell you where they are going.
If they are little keep them close , if they cannot see you, they are not safe.
Find a place that you know they can remember in case they do get lost. This is particularly important for older children who do need some safe independence .
If you are in a mall or a department store, identify the staff’s uniform and security guard’s uniform with your children. Ask them to look for them if they feel lost.
It is unfortunate that we need to teach our children to avoid talking to strangers, but the truth is, with today’s world, it’s not safe anymore to let your children talk freely to a stranger.
Teach your children your mobile and home phone numbers. If they are too young to remember then we advise you to place the details into their shoe –you can buy a Shoe ID here ( put in streetsmartkids into voucher for 10% discount off price) . For older children go through the basic family information such as the home phone number, your mobile phone number and your address. For some children a mobile will be appropriate.
Sometimes is helps to write down the cloths your children are wearing when you take them out – you will not be surprised that your memory can fail you totally under stress.
Carry a Child Identification Card ( put in streetsmartkids into voucher for 10% discount off price) can also help and allows you to react effectively to your child going missing. Hand your card into the nearest authorities or police station and the information contained on the card such as the picture and latest clothing will allow them to start a search and dramatically increase the chance of finding your child.
For more information on how to react to your child going missing and resources to help prevent them from going missing then please visit:
The Child Identification program
Also read Childalert’s Top Stranger Danger Tips