On big days out last summer we mostly kept the boys in their buggy. They were perfectly capable of walking everywhere at 2.5, but the buggy contained them and stopped them from getting lost. Now as they get older, this is something that fills me with panic. I hate thinking about losing either of them, even for a second.
I’ve collected a list of hints and tips on how to keep your children safe this summer:
1) Take a quick picture on your phone of your kids at the start of your day out. It’s not only a great reminder of your day out together, but it shows the police/lifeguard/theme park staff exactly what they look like and what they were wearing if you did lose them in a crowd.
2) If you have multiples, one tip is to dress them the same on days out. Again, if you lose one you can easily show people what the other one is wearing. It also makes it much easier to spot them in a busy playground when they’re wearing identical clothes, especially if you choose bright colours.
3) Make sure your children know what to do if they get lost. Unfortunately police officers aren’t usually milling about when you need them, so think about who you would prefer them to approach if they need help. Many parents ask their children to look for another ‘mummy’ who has children with her or to look for somebody who works at the place where you are i.e. theme park staff, shop assistant, lifeguard etc.
4) Ask your children to stay still if they realise they can’t find you. It’s unlikely they’ll have wandered far from you, and if they stay still you’re more likely to find them quickly. If they’re older, you could ask them to go back to the spot where you were last together.
5) If you’re at the beach and have older kids who will be going down to the sea without you, get a big flag on a pole and add it to your beach pitch, or buy a brightly coloured beach tent that is easily recognisable from a distance.
6) If you’re walking around a crowded area with toddlers, you can’t beat wrist straps to keep your little ones close to you. Even better, use Boomereins (retractable safety reins on a waist belt) which give your children freedom while keeping them attached.
7) Make sure there is something on your child that alerts authorities to your mobile number. This could be as simple as a note in their pocket, although you need to explain to your child where it is (if they’re old enough to understand) so they can tell the grown ups where to find it. The other option is a safety identity wristband or keychain. Don’t include your child’s name on anything because you don’t want strangers to be able to use this to pretend they know them.
This leads nicely to my review…
A few weeks ago I decided to invest in ID wristbands for my boys. I thought it would be really easy to find one that did everything I wanted, but it really wasn’t!
I was search for something:
- they couldn’t take off themselves (which would make it worthless)
- they would be happy wearing
- where our mobile numbers could be added without being crammed onto a tiny bit of paper
- where the writing wouldn’t fade or wash off
- that went around their wrist, because although the ones that clip onto belt loops and zips sound great, there might be times during the summer when they’re not wearing anything suitable to clip them onto.
It sounds easy doesn’t it? Trust me, it isn’t. I found loads of wrist bands for about £5 that you scribble your number on a tiny piece of paper and that attach to the wrist with velcro. I found other cheap, disposable ones where you handwrite your telephone number on a paper wristband. But after a whole afternoon of online shopping, I only found one that did everything I wanted.
ICE Gems sell a range of bracelets including medical bands and safety bracelets. I chose their £15 ID wristbands (I bought one and was given one free in return for reviewing them). They have a watch-type strap on them, which means my boys can’t remove them, and there is a choice of wristbands. They come in two sizes, fitting wrists up to 6″ or 8″. I let my boys pick their own straps and they both went for the cute rocket/space design. On the metal plate that faces up it says ‘IF LOST PLEASE CALL NUMBER ON BACK’. On the back, you can include up to six lines of engraved text with up to 25 characters per line. I included two mobile numbers on ours.
I feel so much safer knowing we have them. I’m sure my boys aren’t going to get away from us this year because I still don’t give them that much freedom just yet, but in another year or two as they start venturing a little further away I know I’ll feel so much better knowing they have these on. Yes, at £15 each they are a bit more expensive than some of the others on the market, but they will last for as long as I need them to. The numbers on the back won’t fade, and if they decide they want the strap with footballs instead next year it’s easy to buy a new one for them. It’s an investment of a few pounds that could mean if we do get separated we will hopefully get brought back together quickly. We’ve just come back from our holiday and the boys wore these whenever we went to the beach or somewhere with crowds. We’re going along to a family music festival this summer and we’ll definitely be wearing these there. It’s such a brilliant design – exactly what I was looking for! #Geniusinvention.
* For the purpose of the review I was given one of the two wrist bands free of charge. All views are my own and are genuine. Even if I hadn’t received one for free I would have bought two of them, because they are exactly what I was searching for!