Anyone who has lost track of their child for a few seconds knows that it feels like forever and is one of the scariest moments ever. There are many products out there to keep us from losing our children, from leashes to alarms, but here are a few free things we can take advantage of to keep our child safe.
I’m not just talking about car seats and seat belts, although those are quite important as well. I’m talking about carts at the grocery store or high chairs at a restaurant. Aside from keeping our children from squirming out of their seat and falling from the cart or the chair, lap belts can also discourage a person from snatching a child. Buckles take time to undo and that’s also time that they can get caught taking your child. This also applies to strollers.
When using carts or strollers it is also important to make sure you keep one hand on them at all times. It’s also good to keep your child in sight and within reach. For example, keep the sun cover closed so you can see the top of your child’s head.
Identification and Emergency Information
It’s a stretch to carry a child’s medical records with you, but make sure you have certain pieces of vital information. Knowing a child’s blood type is important in cases of emergency. Keep a list of allergies with you regarding foods and medications. You may know these bits of information by heart, but in a serious situation it’s easier to pull out a list than it is to stress about if you forgot something. Make sure that you have pictures of your child with you at all times. They can be fit in a wallet or carried on a phone. Even if your child has decided to go use the restroom without letting you know at least store staff will know who they are looking for. Also make sure that you carry your own identification.
Turn It Off
When with your child in public it is best to minimize distractions. One of the biggest distractions we have is our phones. They can keep us entertained for hours and keep us in contact with the important people in our world. Some of us however (me included) can look up and realize it’s an hour later. If you need to check your phone while out and about, do so in the car or have your child practice their reading skills by reading your messages back to you. Speaker phone can also be quite helpful if you have voice messages. When all else fails, err on the side of caution. You may miss an important call, but you won’t miss your little one.
Teach Your Child
We live in a society where it isn’t practical to teach our children not to talk to strangers. Instead, we encourage our children to be polite but remain close to us. We make sure they don’t go anywhere without our permission or with a stranger. We define a stranger as someone mommy and daddy don’t know, rather than the child not knowing. Last but not least, we teach our children to be loud. They should yell if someone grabs them. In the end though we are the guardians of our children. Constant vigilance!
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