Have you spoken with your small child about what to do if he gets lost?
I think it is one of those scary but necessary conversations that families have â€“ right up there with â€œMom, do you have a cemetery plot?â€ While you certainly donâ€™t want to scare your kids, it is important that they have some instructions to follow to help the situation end well.
Obviously they need to know the following information:
- Home phone
- Your cell phone
Your child will need some other skills, depending on how old he is. The most important thing is that he remains calm and confident.
Tell him never to leave the area or the store with anyone.
Finding a woman with children to help is the safest option if he canâ€™t find a police officer, security guard, or store employee. Experts agree that a woman with children is the least intimidating and the least likely to harm your child.
Tell him to ask the person to call your mobile phone. If that person doesnâ€™t have a cell phone or you donâ€™t answer, have a backup plan such as calling on a landline or a second emergency contact.
If he is lost outside, make sure that he knows to stay in one place. People will be calling his name and it is important that he knows to answer them.
Finally, have a code word. If a stranger tells your child that you sent them to pick him up make sure that he asks the stranger for a code word and doesnâ€™t go anywhere with anyone that doesnâ€™t have it.
Practice what to do if heâ€™s lost once in a while – make a game out of it. Finally, update the plan as your child grows and his ability to help himself changes.
Do you have a safety plan for your child?