1. What they wear. We may look like the cheesiest family, but when we travel or go to places with large crowds, we often dress our kids alike.
Most everyone thinks this is for a "cute" factor. I usually don't take the time to explain, but it's actually not.
Not only is it easier to scan and pick out your kids if your mind/eyes are looking for the same thing/color, but it's for another very critical factor as well. You see, when we went to Disney World one year, we lost our second son. I mean, completely and utterly lost.
There was a panic that hit levels I'd never humanly known before. We frantically searched for him through tears and gut wrenching fear. He was only three years old and I nauseously ran around the park, trying to find our little boy.
Every person we stopped to ask for help, asked one single question. "What was he wearing?" It was in that moment that I realized that if our others were dressed somewhat alike, I could've simply shown them. It felt like such a waste of time to try and describe his appearance when we should've been combing the park.
My husband ended up finding him. It turned out that Ethan evidently found the train tracks that ran down main street and simply walked away from us in hopes to find the train at the end.
We've dressed them alike ever since.
Someone gave us the great idea of making name tags for each of the kids with our cell phone numbers inscribed. They're fun for the kids to create with using their first name and our contact information.
The name tags are a brilliant concept because they're durable and waterproof. You simply link the metal ring around the back of their shorts or pants belt loop and they're out of the way of fidgety fingers.
If you become separated from your child, someone can call you immediately with his or her location.
3. Role play. You never want to become separated from your child, but what would happen if you did? Would he or she know what action to take? Where to turn?
A very important thing to do is to teach them what and who to look for. A person wearing a name badge or a uniform. A police officer.
The goal isn't to scare a child silly with the worst case scenario, but instead give them the tools to use if necessary.
4. Pick a spot. One final rule of thumb is to find an area or landmark to act as a type of home base. Our kids are older now, but even when we go to high school football games, they know that if we get separated or if they run around, we always meet at a big rock at the stadium's entrance when the game is over.
It's good to use an obvious location that's easily visible or located.
The ultimate goal isn't to worry or become scared of travel and vacation for you or your family. In fact, it's just the opposite.
With some quick and simple tips and to keeping up with your loved ones, you can breath a little easier with the reassurance of keeping your ducks in a row...and staying far, far away from any train tracks. :)
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