- Family and Parenting
Toddler and Child Safety Tips In Crowds
Our family had to come up with child safety tips while staying in Disneyland to keep the 3 young girls in our group safe. With a 5 year old and two 4 year olds in our care, we needed as many ways as we could come up with to keep kids from getting lost and feel protected from losing them in the crowd
The 3 girls were too young to keep cell phones on them, but old enough that they could walk off at anytime, and in a crowd of thousands, could get lost easily. Even with 8 adults watching over, there are always risks. Here are some of the child safety tips and methods we came up with to make sure our girls were safe from getting lost.
Child Locators That Attach To Shoes
Child Safety Tips: Cell Phone Pictures
While we were still in our own local airport a couple of us took profile pictures of each girl. This gave a few of us each easy access to a current picture of each girl in the instance that we may need to use them to help locate the child later.
In addition to using this picture to ask people around us if they had seen any of our girls should they become lost, but it would be the fastest way to get a current picture to authorities if needed.
Child Safety Tips: Holding Hands
Whenever walking around the park, the girls were told that at all times when we were walking around, they were to hold an adults hands. Since we started this at the beginning of our trip, the girls just knew that it was part of the deal.
We also told them of the dangers of getting lost. We discussed how easily they could become lost in the crowd if they were not next to one of our adults at all times. With 8 adults all watching over 3 kids, there was another problem present..Which adult had which kids?
What worked for us is to not allow the kids to switch between adults unless both the adult they were separating from and the adult they were going to both knew. This means that the adult who let go of the child's hand did not take their eyes of the youngster until they were holding the hands of the other adult, or until that adult acknowledged that one of the girls was now following them either by hand holding or by standing right in their view.
Chid Safety Tips: Keeping Count
My aunt frequently counted heads. Always making sure that if the 3 girls were all together, that she could always see their 3 faces.
Child Safety Tips : Contact Info On Kid's Arms
Although the conversation should be handled carefully so that the child does not become scared, it is important to discuss what should happen if they should get away from the group. I came up with the idea while it was getting dark our first night to write our phone numbers on the girls arms.
Writing in ink on their arms "If I get lost please call" can help a person who finds the kids to locate parents easily. Young children when lost can be upset and scared. They may be unable to really speak or feel it not okay to do so. Writing the phone number on their arm allows them to just show their arm and not have to think about the full names of the adults they are with or phone numbers.Remember to write on their arm and not their hands. Handwashing and sweat could wipe or wear off the writing on hands.
Identify to the child who they should find if they get lost. While the majority of strangers would only want to help, your child doesn't know that, and they don't know how to tell a good stranger from a bad one.
In Disneyland, one of our best child safety tips we learned was to tell the girls to find a person working behind a cash register. Whether it was a person in a store, or someone at one of the food booths in the streets. While you can not trust just anyone because of their job title, I felt that if they could just find a cashier they had a better chance of being located faster, then if they were told to find someone for help that was any more specific just walking in a crowd.
Identifying Disneyland employee's at their height might be difficult, especially in the dark, but all the girls knew how to find where to pay for things and knew what cash registers were. This way they knew they were to look for someone who worked their. It would also get them out of the crowds where they could be grabbed and in a location where people would notice a child walking around on their own.
If a cashier is not an option, choose a person or types of people that are easy to find where you are, and can be identified by someone at a small height. At a beach, lifeguards are easily to distinguish from everyone else, but if they are hard to locate or require a long walk, this is precious time your child spends lost and scared. Offer a few options if the best one is not readily available.
Just remember as panicked as you may be if your child became lost, you can not predict their own reaction. Some children may panic and become frantic, others may have no idea that they are lost, because they know exactly where they are. Remember to discuss that being separated is being lost, but that there are ways that you can find each other.