Whether you are an eager young parent wanting to take your children to Disney World or a child care professional planning to take your students out on a fun class field trip, being protective about keeping young children safe in crowded areas is a serious issue. While festivals, playgrounds, lakes, and amusement parks are all excellent places to have a great time and learn something new, they can also be stressful for parents and teachers. To minimize your stress level and keep your children safe out in public, here are a few pieces of advice that might help:
'What will you do if you get separated?'
It's always recommended that you never leave for a trip without first having a plan. While you can give your children plenty of reminders about not to get separated from the group, you should also tell them what they should do if they get lost or cannot spot their parent or teacher. Have a game plan, such as telling them to stay put if they can't find you, or if they are older, suggest a designated meeting spot to which they can go. This will keep both you and your children from growing panicked if you should become separated.
'Where is your identifier?'
There are numerous ways parents and teachers equip their children with identifiers. For example, the Clovis, California, Police Department told Today that adults can write their phone number or contact information on their children's wrists and then cover it with liquid band-aid to prevent smudging. This works great for younger children and is a simple way for someone to contact you if they discover your missing kids.
While older children may be able to memorize your phone number, younger children may struggle with this task if they are distressed. Therefore, you can also put your contact information on notecard in their pocket, on a wristband or on a sticker inside their jacket. All they have to remember to do is to show a police officer or other important figure and they will be reunited with you quickly.
'Would you smile for the picture?'
Before a large group outing, it's always best to take a photo of all your children. Not only will it preserve the happy memory, but if one or two of your children become separated, you don't have to waste precious time guessing what they were wearing that day or what they look like. All you have to do is flash your photo and people will easily be able to identify your missing children.
To learn useful tips about keeping young children safe during a field trip, consider taking our "Safe Travels: Transporting Young Children" course.