Nothing can describe how scary it would be for a parent to find their child missing in a crowded place. As young children are always curious, they might wander off exploring new things. The thought of turning to your child who isn’t there is a frightening experience for both of you. And, there are people who have intentions to harm or make money with the innocent child.
There is nothing worse to a parent than living with the thought that their child is with a stranger, who might be very dangerous. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to be very careful with their children in crowded place like parks, malls, beaches, amusement parks, temples and festivals. Being proactive and taking safety steps along with your kids before heading to a crowded place can help you prevent unwanted situations. Here are few safety tips for keeping your toddler safe in a crowded place.
1. Talk about the place
Your toddler might not realise the importance of staying close to you, unless you teach them why. Before starting to a crowded place, talk to your children about how crowded the place would be. Explain them the significance of staying near you all the time as it would be harder for you to find each other. Your toddler can understand simple instructions, but repeat yourself until he gets the message.
2. Holding hands
Always hold your child’s hand in a crowded place. Few toddler might be stubborn about this rule, but, they will get used after a while. Never leave them behind or let them walk in the front of you. Toddlers are fast and it only takes a moment for them to wander off. So the best way to keep your kid wandering off is to either keep your child nestled in a stroller or having a grip on their hand. Ask your husband to carry them on their shoulders like below.
3. Meeting place
If your child is old enough, show your child some important landmarks and identify a safe meeting place. Explain them the meeting place is where he should wait and not to look over for you all over the place. Make sure that they can get there.
4. Explain about stranger danger
It is important to teach your kid about stranger danger and personal safety from as young as 2 or 3. And it is equally important to teach them that not all strangers are dangerous. Explain them how to identify and whom to ask for help - women with kids, a shopkeeper, policeman, security guard. Tell them clearly that they must never reach out to someone walking alone - be it men or women (there are equal number of women abductors in our country). Also, expose them to tricks that strangers play - offering candies, colorful toys, bubbles etc to trap them to a lonely place.
5. Have someone to help you
When going out with a toddler who is very active, it is always better to have someone accompany you. It might be your partner, mother, sister or someone who would love to spend time with your little one. It will take some stress and burden off you.
6. Be prepared
It is important to prevent your child from getting lost. And, it is equally important to teach them what to do when they get lost. See the below article about how to teach your child to handle getting lost in public.
A smart solution
In this era of smartphones and smart solutions, technology is at our disposal. There are products that enable to track our kid's location. They come incredibly handy when we go to crowded places, when we send our kids to schools, day care, etc,. They are water resistant and come with pedometer, emergency call (SOS), auto answer, voice message, etc. Here is a smart GPS watch.
Even though you have trained your kids about safety, try to understand the limits of their age and maturity.
Happy and safe parenting!
Have you ever lost your child in a crowded place earlier? What did you do and how were you reunited? Or, Do you have any additional tips to share on ways to keep your children safe in public? Let me know in the comments below.