What to Do if Your Child is Lost in a Crowd

From fairs to malls, it’s important we teach our kids the right stuff to prevent them from getting lost in the crowds.

Finding ourselves in large crowds with children in tow  is something that’s difficult to avoid. Whether it’s a movie theater or museum, theme park or fair, crowds and kids often go hand-in-hand.

When we do take our children to a busy, crowded place it’s important to take a few moments to familiarize yourself and your children with the environment you’re in. Point out to your children who the security people are that they can turn to for help, and be specific by pointing out the color of shirt or the hats that the security personnel wear. Once you’ve done that you should make a little plan, says police officer Tim Fanni. “What we have to do when we take our children out to malls, shows, and other places is to talk about your plan. The idea is to keep yourself and your children safe, be aware of your surroundings and have a plan.”

So, as well as pointing out who your child can turn to for help, with the older child you could decide on a meeting place such as a mall fountain or information booth where you would meet if you become separated.

But what if your worst fear comes true and your child does get lost in the crowd?  Fanni suggests “as a parent, if you lose your child in a crowded place, you want to find someone in authority that can help you. If you’re in a mall, find security. If you’re in a large store, find store management. It might be as simple as them announcing something over the p.a. system. You want someone who’s in authority, knows the layout of the store and can mobilize their staff or call the police to help look for your lost child.”

Finally a simple means of preventing your child from getting lost is by laying down the rule that you and your child must always be within eyesight of one another. That way you’ll always know where each other are, whether in a park or fairground.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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