October 17, 2008

easy and essential safety measure for your child

Have you ever “lost” you kid? Maybe you haven’t admitted it publicly but it happens to many families. It happened to us at Disneyland last weekend. I was parking the stroller and asked our daughter to hop out and get in line with Dad. A cast member told me I would need to move my stroller to “stroller parking.” I followed a path to stroller parking far removed from the ride which we were waiting. I quickly parked the stroller and did a brisk walked back to the Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland, almost a jog. I was unaware that my daughter had followed me. I returned to the ride with my husband in line. We looked at each other simultaneously saying, “Where is Olivia? I thought she was with you!” Quick expression of panic and we both take off running.

This is the part that saved us. Every time we go to a public place like Disneyland, Del Mar fair, Legoland, Sea World, San Diego Zoo, San Francisco zoo or any of the other places we would never had been found 6 years ago….we take pictures of our daughter on our cell phones. Front, side and back view pictures AT the site. This would allow us to show a picture of her in the outfit she was wearing and the hairstyle she had on the same day if she got separated from us. We always figured if we had a current picture on our cell phones we could easily show it and forward it to others if needed.

And we needed. Within seconds of missing Olivia at Disneyland, I showed the picture to the man who made me move the stroller and he began pointing and saying “Ohhh the little girl with pigtails. She is right there with another cast member!”

Slump of relief.

She did all the right things, found a “manager” and stayed put once she felt she couldn’t find us. But having the picture expedited the situation. Once back at Astro Orbiter, another family asked us if would like our place back in line and confessed they had a stomach ache too from the sympathy pains. I told them how I found Olivia and they immediately took out their cameras and took a picture of their 7 year old. I am sure that will become part of their “public place” routine. I can now personally recommend it to all parents.

Comments

  1. Gayle says:

    Does this sound familiar? Yes!! Horrible thing to have happen but it does. GREAT IDEA to take picture on cell phone. Sorry you had to use it. Glad to hear you found your beautiful daughter with the pigtails.

  2. keith says:

    this is a great idea Lori. it should be circulated to the news networks etc
    knowledge is power..

  3. Emily says:

    this brought tears to my eyes … thank you for sharing such a great tip!

  4. Heather in Washington State, USA says:

    My 5 year old went missing at Disneyland just as the parade was starting, and what a crowd of people there were for her to disappear into!

    I always write my cell # on my kid’s body with a sharpie when we travel or go somewhere crowded, and they know if they get lost to approach an employee or “grandma” with children and ask them to call their mama, and show the phone number written on their skin. That way they can stay where they are while a person calls from a cell phone or walkie talkie, and not have to be taken to a lost and found.

  5. Beth Boyle says:

    Thank God Olivia has such smart parents!!!

    I hope the rest of your day was fun and uneventful…:)

  6. Jennifer says:

    Thank you! I just sent this information to my sister who is a travel agent. She said she is going to advise all of her clients to take pictures of their kids!

    GREAT IDEA!

    Another idea is to pin whistles (the loud ones) to their clothes – if they cannot find you, just begin blowing the whistle.

  7. Mary says:

    Phew! Great advice. I bet everyone that reads this felt the panic and relief just as if it had happened to them. I appreciate Heather’s suggestion of writing the cell number on your child’s hand with a sharper too. Double safe for sure.

  8. Jackie says:

    GREAT IDEA! Also the cell phone # written on the hand, & a good tip for travel agents, too.

  9. david wolfe says:

    I am going to send this website and recommend reading this story to my two nephews with children and my sister . Such an easy thing to do with the camera in most phones and yet, I doubt I would have thought of it. Thanks.