Losing a child in a store, in the woods, on the street is one of the most terrible dreams of any parent. How to prevent it, how to prepare your child to it, and how to behave, if the child is nevertheless lost? We will discuss it in today’s article.
Is the child so easy to lose?
Yes, it is quite simple to lose your child, if you do not follow certain rules. The child can get behind you in the woods or miss you at the mall. Unfortunately, some children are kidnapped, others – run away from home. Many of them are inattentive and can stop to look at a shop window, or get lost in the crowd, while you are walking forward.
How not to lose a child in a city?
- Parents should always know when, where and why the child leaves, and when he or she should come back. Know what they wear and what they have with them. Always have a recent photo of your child with you.
- You must make the child memorize a few rules and review them (at least) once a month.
- The child must know by heart his or her first and last name, address and telephone numbers of two parents (mother, father). Also, they should remember the emergency number, 112.
- You should not go anywhere with strangers, even if they say they will take you to your mother, promise something incredible or ask for help.
- If you realize that you are lost, stay in the same place and wait for the parents. Do not go anywhere.
- If the child is old enough, and you go to the mall together, you can agree in advance: if we lose sight of each other, let us meet in a definite place.
- If the parents got into the bus, train or subway car, and you did not, wait for the parents on the same stop; do not try to catch up with them.
- If you got into a subway car or train, and your parents did not, get off at the nearest stop and wait there.
- If you have a mobile phone, immediately call your parents. Parents have to make sure that the child’s phone is always charged and close at hand. Do not be afraid that he or she would lose the phone – it’s not as bad as getting lost.
- If you’re lost, you can turn to the people wearing uniform for help. These are policemen, cashiers and security guards; in transport – the driver or the station duty officer. You can also ask a woman with a child for help. Explain that you got lost and ask them to call your parents. But in any case, you should not go anywhere with an adult, unless it is a policeman. Stay where you are.
- Do not come close to water bodies, or walk on the frozen ice. According to the statistics, water is the first and most serious threat to children.
- You will never be blamed for the fact that you got lost. This can happen to anyone.
How can a child memorize so many rules?!
It is not so difficult. For a child to better remember the rules, remind him or her about them during a walk or shopping. For example, learn to recognize police officers or station duty officers. Make sure that the child knows his or her full name, address and the parents’ phone numbers; make a card with this information and put it into the child’s pocket.
Going to the forest with a child. What do you need to know?
- You should never lose sight of the child, even if you feel that the forest is familiar, and it is impossible to get lost in it.
- Going into the forest, always keep in mind that you may stay longer than you planned. Be sure to take a fully charged mobile phone, a pocket knife, matches, food and water supply, necessary medicines, warm clothing, and a whistle with you.
- If you have a compass or a navigator, learn how to use them properly. Keep in mind that many phones have an embedded compass.
- Do not dress in camouflage or dark clothes. Dress the child and yourself in something bright, preferably – with reflective elements. You can wear a vest worn by road workers and cyclists –they are often sold at gas stations and supermarkets.
Are there any rules a child should remember when hiking in the woods?
- Be very attentive and never lose sight of your parents.
- If you get lost – call them at once.
- Do not go away from the place where you got lost. If there is a clearing or a path right next to you, go and wait there.
- If you have a phone, call your parents, tell them that you are lost, and, after that, do not use your phone, to preserve the battery charge longer. The rescuers may call you.
- D not be frightened and do not hide on seeing people. Explain to them that you are lost.
- If you hear or see people in the distance, try to attract their attention: scream, find a stick and knock it on the tree. Even if you cannot see anyone, keep knocking from time to time.
- Do not eat mushrooms or unfamiliar berries; do not drink from streams, rivers and lakes.
- If it is cold – jump or jog in place. Do not fall asleep, so as not to freeze or miss the rescuers. You can read poems or sing songs not to fall asleep. Do not sit on the bare ground.
Can a child be tracked?
Yes. If your child already has a phone, you may order the location tracking service. Call your mobile operator to find out how to do it. If the child is little, you can buy a special children’s tracker watch. There are simple phones shaped as small cubes the size of 3*3*1 cm, which have only two buttons – 1 and 2, to call mom and dad respectively. You can also track the child using a special smartphone application.
Do children escape only from dysfunctional families?
No, children escape from different families. Children may not return home, because they are afraid to talk about a bad mark or some misdemeanor. In this case the child may not understand that staying in the street alone is dangerous. Talk about it with your child; try to do everything to establish trust.
What if the child is missing?
The main thing is not to lose time. Immediately call 112 and turn to the police. It is better to raise a false alarm than to miss the most critical first hours after the disappearance. Ask for help from relatives and friends: while you are filing a statement for the police, they will start ringing up friends, or searching the district.
And remember that the police must immediately accept the statement, no matter how much time has passed since the disappearance. Civil service and volunteer units never take money for the search. Beware of scams that earn on other people’s misfortunes, positioning themselves as psychics and clairvoyants.