Living in San Diego, we’re always at a theme park, beach, or somewhere super busy and packed. One of my worst nightmares is losing my child in one of those settings. This all got me thinking to what I do as a parent to keep my kids safe when we’re out and about, or when I’m not necessarily there to protect them. These tips are things my family and I do on a daily basis, and hopefully is helping avoid the unthinkable.
- Code word: Growing up, anyone picking me up had to know the code word, other wise I was not allowed to leave with them. Now that my son is in Kindergarten, I was shocked to hear that if the kid knew you, they were allowed to leave with you. That doesn’t make me feel super secure, so my son knows that he has to ask the adult for the code word, and if they don’t know it, he DOES NOT leave with them. Doesn’t matter if he knows them.
- To the front or to the side: Now that my son is 5, he thinks he’s old enough to do whatever he wants. Not so fast! I’ve been a lot more lenient with him in regards to not having to hold my hand everywhere we go, especially in stores. The only rule – walk in front of me, or stay to the side of me. He needs to be in my direct line of contact. It’s scary how quickly someone can snatch up your kid when you look away for a quick second.
- Touch the car: For some reason, the moment a kid gets out of the car, they think they can just go sprinting off. Chill out kid! Having 2 kids to wrangle when I get out of the car, it’s kind of hard to have one hand on one while I’m unbuckling the other, or pulling something out of the car. So the safety tip here, is to always have a hand touch the car next to where I’m standing.
- Day of picture: I always make sure that I take a picture of my kids in what they are wearing that day to wherever we’re going – one close up and one full body. You know you’re going to be snapping a bunch of pictures anyway, so should your kid wander off – you have a current picture of them. It’s also a good idea to dress them in something bright so they’re easy to spot.
- Contact info in the pocket or on clothes: Not every kid is at that point where they can remember their parents’ contact info. Heck. I can barely remember my own number. I usually slip my contact info in my son’s pocket and just give him a heads up in case he gets lost and needs someone to help him find me. While we were at LegoLand, I forgot to do so, so I just wrote my number on the inside of his shorts (it’s blurred out but I just wrote it on the hem).
- ICE (In Case of Emergency) Label: Should the unthinkable happen while you’re in your car, this is something that can be very useful for the first responders. I wrote a post about it awhile ago. You can click here to get the free printout of the label I use.
I know it’s not always in our power to be able to prevent something happening to our children, however, I hope these tips are something you can all implement into your daily lives to help prevent the unthinkable. Comment below with some of your safety tips that you think we should all know about.