Plan Ahead In Case Your Child Is Missing

I think it’s probably happened to most parents.  You’re out and about with your kids.  One minute they’re right beside you and the next they’re gone.

There’s that initial panic that sets in as you frantically look for them. Most times you’ll find them a short distance from you unaware of how freaked out you were.  They probably didn’t even realize you weren’t there.

Today’s tip is one I hope you’ll never use but it could prove to be invaluable if your child is ever missing and you can’t find them right away.

The tip is this:  whenever going out with your kids take their picture with your phone when you get to your destination.

This way if you and your child get separated you’ll have a current photo of them.  In a panic you might not remember what they were wearing.  You might not remember how their hair was or if they were carrying a favorite toy.

All this information would be in the picture you took.  It would be useful in the event you needed to get others involved in looking for them.

You don’t need to tell your kids why you’re taking their picture every time you go out.  No point in potentially scaring them.  Just let them know that Mom or Dad want a new picture.

Another good thing to do now, while you’re thinking of it, is write down all your child’s info.  Their height, weight, birth marks, blood type, any information that would be helpful in an emergency.

Sure, you probably have all this info committed to memory but under duress you might not be able to recall it quickly and correctly.  Having it written down will help.  You could put it on an index card in your purse or wallet.

You could even use an app like Evernote or Google Keep to store the information in your phone.

A little planning now could make an extremely stressful situation a little easier.

What are some other ways you help keep your kids safe when you go out?

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3 thoughts on “Plan Ahead In Case Your Child Is Missing”

  1. I’m actually going to disagree with you on this one. What you are describing is worst first thinking. (See here: http://www.freerangekids.com/a-couple-of-thoughts-on-parental-fear-and-tempering-it/ for more info). I should arrive somewhere really exciting and fun and take a picture in case something bad happens? That frame of thinking, even if not shared directly with the children, is not healthy. There is no need to live life in fear. The likelihood of my child being abducted is very, very small. The much more likely scenario is that we would get accidentally separated. Rather than taking a picture, I think it is more helpful to spend my energy reviewing with my children basic safety and empowering them to handle the situation. They know that when we are out and about their #1 job is to “stay with me”. When we go to very large events such as the State Fair, we review what to do just in case we are separated. When they were very little, we would have them practice saying their first and last name, and ours. They know to ask a grown-up for help. My sister gave her children her business card before they were old enough to memorize phone numbers and I thought that was a good idea.

    I understand your rationale behind having emergency information readily available and having the info in one place certainly won’t hurt. But I do think it is crucial that we not get caught up in worst first thinking. Take pictures of your kids because they are adorable and you want to capture the moment, not “just in case”.

    1. Thanks for your comments and the link. I had never heard the term worst first thinking before. I appreciate you sharing a different view. Gives me something to think about.

      1. I highly recommend the free range kids blog and the book that she wrote (which I own and you are welcome to borrow, if interested). She has a lot of great information. We live in a worst first thinking society. It can take some practice and effort to let go of those thoughts and patterns but I really believe kids and parents are so much better off when we do!

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