My Children. My Opinions. My Tales.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lost and Found

When I was about Jelly bean's age, my parents took me to the beach. My brother and dad were playing in the waves and my mom had only turned her back for a second...and I was gone.

At 3, I wasn't worried about losing my family...I was too interested in finding sea shells. As I walked along the crowded beach that day, I didn't even think to look up - like most 3-year-olds I was focused on the shells in the sand. Eventually when I realized my parents were out of sight, I began to cry. Luckily, a life guard approached me and asked where my parents were, unlucky for him, I didn't know. I couldn't remember what they had on or where we stayed, because at 3, it all looked the same. So, he signaled the other life guards to be on the look-out for parents looking for a lost child, fortunately soon after we were reunited.

I remember this day very clearly and now that I am a parent, I understand the distress my parents felt.

These days you have many options to help keep track of your kids with leashes, beepers, or id tags.

The leashes or "child safety harnesses" are good for when you will be walking on a busy street or in the mall. But these don't give your child any sense of freedom or independence, which could be a struggle with a toddler. These are available in many varieties, the one I linked above is a stuffed animal backpack -- making it more fun for your child.

The beepers or "toddler trackers" seem like they would be good when at a park or amusement park however, per some parents comments, it can be hard to hear in a noisy crowded area and if they get to far away, it wouldn't work at all.

When we recently took Jelly Bean to Dutch Wonderland, I was quite impressed with the park's proactive approach on lost children. They actually offer free ID bracelets at the ticket counter. All you do is write down your first and last name (and if you have, a cell phone number) and attach the plastic id bracelet to your child's wrist.

But what if the park or place you are going doesn't offer something like this? You can order them online, in many varieties.

There is a shoe id, which I thought was neat. It attaches with Velcro, so it is reusable.

There is an id band, it appears to be similar to the one that Dutch Wonderland had. But you are required to buy the minimum of 10.

There are those popular silicone bracelets that you can personalize, and they are waterproof. These are higher in price, unless you buy in bulk.

Tattoos are another option for parents, as is writing the information on their arm or belly with a sharpie. My only dilemma with this is, and I know because Jelly did it, they then think it is ok to color with pen and marker on themselves.

And some other (free) suggestions I found included, write the information on their clothing tag, or on masking tape and place it on the inside of their shirt or shoe.

When I think back to the day at the beach, I know that we were really lucky. And now with these simple solutions, I know that I can enjoy my summer and our travels with a sense of peace, knowing if I do become separated from Jelly, she will have our information to be reunited.

1 comment:

Noah and Grace said...

Congratulations on your new job!

We tried the backpack leash once with grace at the zoo. She went nuts like a cat on a leash.LOL Cracks me up. Plus, people were looking at us weird and laughing at us. Embarrassing. I will have to try some of this other stuff out because we have "runner".