July 4th weekend is almost here and that means that summer has officially arrived!
The warm weather brings a slew of amazing things from sunny skies to popsicles. But with an upswing of vacations and day trips to amusement parks and museums, comes an increased chance of kids getting lost.
Now is the perfect time to sit the kids down and talk to them about what they should do if they become one of the seven out of 10 children that get lost in their lifetime.
Luckily, we’ve got Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter, co-authors of When Lyla Got Lost (and found), to share their five tips on keeping kiddies safe in crowds
Role play the safety plan with your child so they are prepared in case they get lost.
Role play a safety plan before a big outing. Kids should be told to stop where they are and yell for you if they get lost (have them practice yelling for you). Kids should know your real name and phone number. Tell them to search for a mom with kids to help reunite you.
On a side note, did you know that telling your kids to find a police officer is not the best course of action? As police officers are rarely around in these types of situations, it is recommended that they find another mom with kids who can help reunite them with their parents.
Read When Lyla Got Lost (and found) with your child beforehand (memorize mom’s phone number and know to ask for help from another mom if needed).
Read When Lyla Got Lost (and found) as a way to introduce these important concepts and give your child a relatable character. Preparing your kids for the possibility of getting lost (without scaring them) can be a challenge, but When Lyla Got Lost (and found) gently teaches kids what to do if they do get lost.
Have your child wear a brightly colored shirt.
Ensuring that your kids are recognizable in a crowd is one of the simplest things that you can do to make sure that they’re easy to spot. Be sure not to write your kids’s names on their shirts though as this could make them more vulnerable to predators if they do get lost.
Write your phone number on your child’s arm, or on tape inside their shirt.
Although preparation goes a long way, kids tend to forget something they’ve learned recently when panicked. To ensure that they always know where to reach you, write your phone number somewhere that is easily accessible to them in a pinch.
Take a picture of your child and what they’re wearing that day.
It’s not only kids that panic when they get lost; so do parents! To make sure that you remember what your child is wearing, take a quick picture of them. And remember when you are reunited try not to get upset with them for wandering off. Giving them a big hug is the best way to make them feel safe again.