Every parent's worst nightmare is to be out in public and physically lose their child. Many parents run through scenarios with their kids of what to do if they happen to become separated while out and about, but nothing can truly prepare you for the sheer terror any parent feels when they realize they can't find their child.
No matter how much we prepare out children and ourselves, sometimes children wander away. A split second is all it takes for a child to go from being right beside you to no where in sight. While we try not to think of it, it's also very important to know what to do should that happen.
Vicky Hamilton Ross wrote about a scary encounter with her own nephew on her blog Oliver's Outings. She detailed how her 4-year-old nephew was at a beach event with his mother when he went missing. Thankfully, an army cadet who was working the event spotted the distraught mother and immediately sprang to action. He took note of the child's appearance and what he was wearing and began relaying the information to other cadets who were working. Together they covered the beach, shouting out the boy's information so everyone could hear and know who to look for. Thankfully they found the boy who informed them where he had gone. “There was a bald man in a white T shirt, he said he would take me to see a real rocket ship,” he said.
Ross insists that by the cadets quickly shouting out her nephew's details, including his appearance and what he was wearing, made it easier for people to know who to look for. It also made it harder for anyone to leave with the boy who matched that appearance.
Kid Guard also has some great advice if your child has gone missing while out and about. If you're at a store or an event such as Ross's nephew, immediately contact a manager or security personnel. They may have systems in place to deal with a lost child that they can immediately put in place. Also immediately call the police to notify them of the lost child.
They also suggest that you give the police as much information about your child as possible. Provide your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and whether they wear glasses or braces or have any visible birth marks. Knowing exactly what they are wearing is also very helpful. Kid Guard also suggests asking the police to immediately enter your child’s name and identifying information into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person File.
While a missing child is every parent's worst nightmare, it's important to know what to do should this ever happen. A quick response, like in the case of Ross's nephew, could mean a world of difference.