Don’t lose your child in a public place

It’s the holidays, and that means crowded shopping malls, busy beaches and packed parks like Ratanga Junction, Gold Reef City and uShaka Marine World adobe pdf pro. Nothing can equal the panic you feel when a little one gets lost in the crowd, and it can happen in a flash. Here are some tips to keep track of everyone, even on the busiest day out.

1. Develop a ‘what if’ plan. Before you go out, talk about what family members should do if they get separated. Keep the steps really simple, so that even the youngest can understand and remember it. Tell kids who they can look to for help – a security guard, a lifeguard, or a mom with children – and arrange a meeting point if your kids are old enough to find one, such as the info desk or entrance. If the children are younger than age 8, tell them to stay put until you find them. Go over the plan again on the way to your destination, make it fun and get everyone to repeat it.

2. Dress children in bright colours. Bright swimsuits, hats and t-shirts make it easier to spot your child in a crowd. Dressing siblings in similar colours can help you remember what the lost child is wearing, and remember that neon colours stand out more than other tones.

3. Keep a recent digital photo of each of the children on your camera or smart phone – even take a photo of everyone on the day.

4. Use the buddy system. If you’re spending the day in a large group, assign one adult to watch each child right through the day, and rope older kids in to help. If anyone has to take a time-out, they need to let the next adult take over their watch – especially around swimming pools or the ocean. Never assume that someone is watching.

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5. Does your child know your cell number? Check that older children remember a parent or caregiver’s cell phone number in case of emergency. If you label your child’s clothing, make sure those labels include your cell phone number.

Make these steps a regular part of any trip, and you can relax. Happy holidays!