We all remember that moment when we were young in a crowded place. Knees flew around us like denim covered bowling balls and purses swung menacingly close to our fair heads. The cacophony of people, color, sounds, and movement was enough to make us forget why we were even there. Reaching up, we’d tug on our mother or fathers sleeve. “Look over there! That girl is.” looking up we’d stop short, realizing that we were talking to a perfect stranger and our heads would be on a swivel as we searched for our guardians.
This type of scenario is all too common and too stressful in a neighborhood supermarket, let alone a crowded vacation destination like Disney Land or a national park. You can help put your mind at ease by taking some preventative measures that can greatly increase your child’s safe return if you do unfortunately get separated.
The Boy Scouts have it right. Always be prepared. If your child is old enough, always make a plan for each outing. Details should at least include who to find if they get lost (an employee, lifeguard, officer, etc), where to go if they get lost, and rules (don’t talk to strangers!). A plan is the easiest and best way to locate your child if separated.
When it comes to identification you can never have enough. Your child’s full name, date of birth, home address, hotel address, your home phone number, cell phone number, significant other or grandparents home and cell numbers, any allergies or medication your child might have or need. You can change the carrying device for the information depending on how much you want your child to carry. Hospital bracelets are cheap, hard to remove, and can hold names and phone numbers; while concealable packs or other devices could carry supplies and extensive information.
Plan for any weather. Meteorologists have gotten better, but Mother Nature still has tricks up her sleeve. A projected overcast day could quickly become hot and sunny where it is easy to get burned and dehydrated, especially for little ones. Keeping a travel case stocked with essentials can only benefit you later on. Consider having one for each vehicle, and an adaptable list so if you’re traveling by plane you can stock up when you arrive.
The More You Know!
Preventative measures can turn into fun learning games with younger children. Matching games can help kids learn about street signs and what they mean and having them recall what you are wearing that day can be a fun memory building tool. If they get separated these types of activities could help them navigate safely, and could help them inform a trusted adult about what your attire is.
All of these steps are preventative and hopefully they never have to implemented, but as Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the cure being reuniting your family quickly and, most importantly, safely.
Short Bio: David Bryce is travel writer who enjoys writing about travel and family vacations. He currently blogs for <a
href=”http://www.thousandhills.com/branson-lodging”>Resort in Branson, MO.