With Mardi Gras right around the corner, and summer a vague glimmer on the horizon (it’s coming, we promise), it’s a good time to start thinking about necessary steps to ensure your child’s safety in large crowds.Here are our top 6 ways to protect your young ones:
1. Prep Your Child
Kids are small, unpredictable and inexperienced. Unfortunately, the first two of those are unavoidable; the third, however, can be prepared for in advance. Tell your child what to do in case he gets lost and have him repeat the steps he’ll take in case of an emergency. Practice your safety plan in a few different scenarios –at the mall, at a concert, in the park, etc. — until you’re sure your little one knows the drill. Find a police officer or another mother/father with children, and have them call you. By preparing your children for the worst, it will help them remain calm in a potentially scary situation.
2. Get Them Tattooed
Temporarily, of course. A SafetyTat is an easily applied and removed tattoo on which you write your phone number. In the event your child gets lost, she simply needs to show the number to the parent or police officer (see tip #1, above) and she’ll be returned to you as quickly as possible.
3. Dress as a Group
One simple way to keep an eye on your kids, and help them keep an eye on you, is to wear matching shirts or like colors. It’s much easier for your child to find you in a crowd if there’s an easily identifiable color or other wardrobe identifier that she can spot instantly.
4. Snap a Photo On the Day of Your Outing
Another easy step to finding your child in the event that she goes missing is having a current photo, taken that day. If a police officer or good Samaritan knows exactly what the child looks like, right down to her outfit and her hairstyle that day, it makes coordinating a search much easier.
5. Ping Their Location
A low-cost child locator is a great way to pinpoint your child in a crowd. The easy-to-use Toddler Tag comes with a parent transmitter keychain and a receiver unit that can be attached to your child’s shoe, clothing or bag. When he wanders beyond 30 feet of the transmitter, it begins to beep, alerting you instantly that he’s strayed too far. When you press the button on the transmitter unit and the child is within 150 feet, the receiver blasts out a loud alarm. Not only will a child locator help you find your kid quickly, if someone is attempting to abduct or harm them, the alarm alerts those nearby that something is wrong while scaring off potential predators. Check out the Toddler Tag in the video below.
6. Never Lose Track with GPS
More expensive than a simple child locator, a GPS tracking device allows you to locate your child no matter where he is right from the convenience of your smartphone. Simply place the tracker (we recommend the Spark Nano) in your child’s pocket or backpack and you’re ready to track. In seconds you’ll be able to pinpoint his location. This real-time tracker also gives you the ability to set up “geofences”: predefined borders on a map that, when crossed by your child, trigger an instant text or email alert sent right to your phone. In setting these zones around a fair ground or parade route, for example, you can be sure that if your child does wander off, you’ll know in an instant where she went.
With these simple precautions, you’ll be able to enjoy the fair, festival or family vacation without the worry.
Watch a local New Orleans news segment featuring the Toddler Tag Child Locator.