How to Reduce the Risk of Losing Your Child to Almost Zero


Stephen courtney

Every day between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm in busy shopping centers all over the country, young children are separated from their parents. Usually its because the child has seen something interesting and decided to go and take a closer look or they have simply gotten separated in a crowded area.

If you have ever been unlucky enough to encounter this problem while you've been out and about. You'll know that the instant you realize your child is missing, time seems to stand still and you completely freeze. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up, your heart starts pounding, your hands start to shake and your stomach begins to churn. Every passing second feels like a life time, then after standing there motionless for what feels like an hour the panic sets in...

You start to frantically pace up and down the store searching high and low, continually shouting your child's name and asking random people questions. Have you seen my little boy? He is about this tall with blonde curly hair and blue eyes. He is wearing a red jacket and blue trousers. This usually continues until your child is found. By this time you have worked yourself into such a state that you don't know weather to give them a big hug or scream at them for leaving your side.

More often than not after experiencing such an emotional episode your day is ruined. You try to forget about it and carry on like it never happened but all-sorts of silly things begin to run through your head. You start asking yourself questions like, why did I take my eyes off him? What if he had been picked up by someone? What if he got seriously injured? What if I never found him again?

"What would happen if you are out one day and your child runs off again, only this time they can't be found! Could they help someone to locate you?"

Every day in the UK around 300 children go missing. Thankfully the majority of these children are found within minutes, but there are some children who go missing for hours, days even weeks in some cases. Many of which could have been reunited with their family within minutes if they had learned the answers to a few simple questions.

1. What is your name?
2. What is your address?
3. Do you have a telephone number I can ring?
4. What is your mummy's name?
5. What is your daddy's name?

Recently I've seen a few reports on the news and in the papers about missing children who had been found but could not tell anyone their names or even their parents names, let alone their address and telephone number. This makes it almost impossible for the authorities to locate the child's family. Just think what these fail to realize how important it is to help their children memorise the answers to these everyday questions.

Through no fault of their own these children have to go through an extremely frightening experience which could haunt them for the rest of their life. All because their parents fail to realize how important it is to help them memorise the answers to these everyday questions.

"These questions are the child's equivalent to a drivers licence. You would never think about leaving home without yours, so why would you let your most cherished possession leave home without theirs?"

How well would your child do, can they answer any of these questions? I challenge you to ask them! I bet a lot of you will be surprised by the outcome. If you do ask them and your child doesn't do so well I would strongly recommend you start teaching them before it is too late. One of the easiest ways to teach your child is through photo recognition e.g. show your child a photo of a you and say for instance, this is your mummy her name is...............

Once your child is able to answer all of the above questions you should start teaching them how to use their new found knowledge to help someone locate you. You should explain to your child that if they ever get separated from you they should approach certain people for assistance e.g. police person, security guard or shop assistant and tell them that they are lost. A lot of parents also recommend teaching your child to approach another parent (someone with a child) if any of the above cannot be found.

Explain to your child that this person will ask them their name, your name, their address and telephone number in order to find you. When you are out with your child and you see any of the persons listed above point them out and get your child to tell you their profession. A little role play game is great for preparing your child for this situation e.g. you play the security guard and your child pretends to be lost. Run through all of the questions then switch and you pretend to be lost. Children love it when the are the one's asking the questions.