Summer time means keeping little ones busy. Whether you are going on a vacation or visiting a local attraction, crowd control will be a must. These strategies will help your family navigate through potential dangers for kids who can’t memorize or recite vital information. As we have seen on the news all too often, it only takes a second for a child to disappear. Even the most observant and outstanding parents have experienced frightening moments. To put safety first use these strategies:
1. Practice makes perfect. Take time practice listening skills with your toddler way in advance. Playing games like “Mother May I” and “Red Light, Green Light” can help little ones learn to listen and respond. It’s not guaranteed that they will do what you want, but practicing these skills will help when you really need to get their attention.
2. Stranger Danger. Talking to kids about strangers can be difficult; especially when it comes to knowing what’s age appropriate. We don’t want our children to fear everyone. The most important part is to remind young children that they should never leave with anyone other than who they came with and not to talk to strangers unless mommy and daddy are present. If for some reason they get lost find a police office or mommy with children to ask for help.
3. Identify your child. While you don’t want to paste a sign with all your information on a kids shirt for all to see; you do want to find a way to keep information on them should they go astray. On the inside tag of their shirt, using a washable tattoo or ID bracelet include your child’s name, parents name and phone number. If you should get separated attendants know to look for these common used methods.(For DIY temporary tattoo check out this moms step by step tutorial https://weightdownweightloss.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/diy-temporary-tattoo-for-kid-safety/)
4. Say cheese. Before entering starting your adventure, take a picture. If you should get separated you will have a photo of what your child looks like and what they are wearing; making them easy to identify and find.
5. Mr. Independent. If you have a little one who wants to be independent and doesn’t like being in a stroller or carrier. Encourage them to hold your hand. A second suggestion is to use a safety harness. I know this isn’t the answer for all kids and can be debatable. I want to start by saying they are not a leash. Harnesses can bring peace of mind to parents in overwhelming and crowded situations; especially children with abilities so never judge a parent for using one.
6. Dress in vibrant colors. This tip doesn’t need much explaining. Whenever I go somewhere crowded I dress my kids in bright colors like neon yellow or orange so that I can spot them from a mile a way.