Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Keep Your Family Safe in Crowded Places

Summer is almost here and that means more time at playgrounds, amusement parks, beaches, sporting events and more.

If you have kids, especially little ones, that means you will need to keep a close eye on them. Which is difficult when there are lots more people around.

Here are a couple tips I've learned over the years to help keep all my family safe and sound yet still have a fun, adventure filled summer.

Photo Going In
The first thing we do when going to an amusement park, crowded playground, etc. is take a group photo.

We do that for 2 reasons. First is as a record that we were there. I use the pictures for scrapbooking. Second is that should one of my kids go missing I have their exact description right there to hand to a police officer. Clothes they were wearing, hair color, height, etc.  Hopefully I won't ever need to use it for that, but it's there just in case. Plus I can always delete the photo later.

Buddy Up
Never let your kids go anywhere alone. Even when they get a little older. Buddy up with another child or preferably an adult. Walking through crowded areas as a group can be hard, but it's even harder for little ones who can't walk as fast and get distracted easily. I always remember Home Alone 2 when Kevin gets lost in the airport. It can and does happen.

Cell Phone
Every group needs a cell phone - turned on and answered. Obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't bother to answer their phones or even have them turned off. Keep them on and answer them -- that's why you have them.  I've tried high powered walkie-talkies in the past, but many times they don't work because of interference, distance, etc.

Phone Numbers
Make sure everyone knows the number. There are temporary tattoos that can be put on little ones so should they get lost the police can call you. You can also make beaded bracelets with your cell number in the beads for older kids who know not to take them off.

Meeting Spot
Once in the park designate a meeting spot. "At 12:30 p.m. lets meet at XYZ for lunch. Here it is on the map." Get every group a map and circle the meeting spot and write the meeting time on it. 

Common Sense
Use common sense if something doesn't feel right leave the area. If someone creeps you out get away from them. Keep a close eye on your family because not everyone has the best of intentions.

Unfortunately our world isn't as safe as it used to be. Kids used to be able to run free without fear of being abducted or worse. Times are changing and it's not just kids we need to keep an eye on  - grown men and women need to be safe as well. Buddy up, keep an eye out for each other and you will still be able to have fun with your family.

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