Lost Kids - Crowd Safety
Written by Joanne Wilson
From fairs to malls, it's important
we teach our kids the right stuff to prevent them from getting
lost in the crowds. Finding ourselves in large crowds is something
that's difficult to avoid. Whether it's a movie theater or museum,
theme park or fair, crowds and kids often go hand in hand.
When we do take our children to
a busy, crowded place it's important to take a few moments to
familiarize yourself and your children with the environment you're
in. Point out to your children who the security people are that
they can turn to for help, and be specific by pointing out the
color of shirt or the hats that the security personnel wear.
Once you've done that you should make a little plan, says police
officer Tim Fanni. "What we have to do when we take our
children out to malls, air shows and other places is to talk
about your plan. The idea is to keep yourself and your children
safe, be aware of your surroundings and have a plan."
So, as well as pointing out who
you child can turn to for help, with the older child, you could
decide on a meeting place such as a mall fountain or information
booth where you would meet if you become separated.
But what if your worst fear comes true and your child does get
lost in the crowd? Fanni suggests "as a parent, if you lose
your child in a crowded place, you want to find someone in authority
that can help you. If you're in a mall, find security. If you're
in a large store, find store management. It might be as simple
as them announcing something over the p.a. system. You want someone
who's in authority, knows the layout of the store and can mobilize
their staff or call the police to help look for your lost child."
Finally a simple means of preventing your child from getting
lost is by laying down the rule that you and your child must
always be within eyesight of one another. That way you'll always
know where each other are, whether in a park or fairground.
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