Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WFMW- Finding lost/misplaced kids



When my kids were younger, at least two of them seemed to get lost easily whenever we went on an outing. Teenage Daughter is visually impaired- so she sometimes has difficulty navigating in large crowds. Young Son is easily distracted and would sometimes run off to look at something exciting without telling me first. Since I often took all three kids on outings by myself- I would get somewhat nervous about losing someone! (Even when J and I took all three kids out- we were outnumbered!) Fortunately, there are a couple of tricks I picked up along the way that helped keep me sane...

1) Label your kid.
Since I always have a Sharpie marker in my purse- I have been known to write my cell phone number on my child's arm (sometimes I still do this with my 10 year old). This works especially well at the beach or the water park. I was actually standing to the side and watching Young Son one day at our local water park a couple of summers ago, when I overheard one lifeguard comment to another about the phone number written on "that kid's arm" and what a great idea it was. Fortunately, we have never been in a situation where my kid needed to be rescued by a lifeguard, but I feel better knowing that they know how to get a hold of me in the park if there was ever (even a minor) problem...

2) Photograph them.
Whenever we would go to any large, crowded venue- like a theme park, I would take a quick photo of each kid with my digital camera or cell phone camera before we entered. That way if we needed to report a lost or misplaced kid, I didn't have to try to remember exactly what he/she was wearing that day to give a description- I could just show the photo.

3) Use cell phones.
Now that I have two teenagers, they don't always want to hang with Mom and Dad. On our last couple of trips to Disneyland we've split up for a few hours. J and I hang with Young Son and we let Teenage Son and Teenage Daughter go off on their own for a morning or afternoon. Now that we all have cell phones with cameras, they use them to check in with us. Teenage Daughter will take a picture of whatever attraction they're at and send it to my phone so I always know where they are. I can also text them if we need to change our pre-arranged meeting place or time.

Fortunately, my kids are getting older and potentially losing a child isn't as probable as it once was... These tips have worked for me though, and I'm happy to pass them on to you. Head over to WFMW at Rocks in My Dryer for more tricks and tips!


LeeAnn

9 comments:

Edi said...

Ok I wrote down your tip b/c I need to remember it - it's great. Especially taking kids' photo w/digital camera before going somewhere w/crowds.

One other thing I try to do is dress them in a bright or unusual color that (hopefully) will make them stand out in the crowd (ie. at a major league baseball game have them wear a color that is NOT the team color...they can be the only ones there dressed all in green in a sea of red!)

PufferfishMommy said...

What excellent ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

Last summer at the water park, my dd did a backflip off the diving board and hit her head on the way into the water. I was on the other side of the park, but I was watching her and was able to get to her quickly, as the lifeguard was pulling her out of the pool. It really bothered me later when I thought, "What if I hadn't been watching?" So the phone number on the arm thing - that is priceless.

Bev

Heather said...

Good ideas . I have been known to give my kids my business card (with my cell #) in case they get lost. CAn't write on their arms due to allergies to the dyes.

Wifey said...

Great ideas! My kids have excema, so I can't write on them, but taking their pictures with my cell phone is brilliant.

Melissa Markham said...

These are great tips, especially taking the kids photo!

jen said...

Yup! Great ideas - thanks!

Hairline Fracture said...

Great tips! I've heard of writing the cell phone on the child's hand but not the photo. We're taking our first family vacation this year and I will use both of these ideas.

I heard about a large family that always dressed in tye-dye shirts because they stood out in a crowd, but it embarrassed their kids as they got older!

Kathy in WA said...

Cool tips! I love the cell phone/digital camera idea. We do the matching shirt thing on trips for traveling. Helps to identify them as One of Us!

Thanks for sharing!

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Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing this!! What great tips :)