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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Focus on Safety – Keeping kids safe in crowds

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It is a parent’s biggest fear to lose their child at a crowded event. It can only take a split second to become separated. Plan before you go out with a few of these key tips for keeping your family together in a crowd.

Dress in bright colors.

Dress children in neon or bright colors like green, orange and yellow. Add other identifiable accessories such reflective strips or bright hair accessories. This will help you and/or law enforcement to quickly scan a crowd for your child.

Take a family photo.

Before heading out, take a photo of what your child is wearing that day. An accurate clothing description can help find them if separated.

Use child identification.

Having your child wear a lanyard under their shirt or keep a note in their pocket, with their name, your name and immediate contact information.

Teach them what to do if separated.

Coach kids on an action plan if they get separated: Ask your children, “What will you do if you become separated from me?” Teach your kids to stay where they are and yell out your name. Ask them, “Who is the safe adult to ask for help?” In the ideal world, this would be a police officer, firefighter, security guard or event staff. In a panic, however, have them look for another mom with children.

Know meeting spots and first aid locations.

Check maps beforehand to locate information centers, first aid locations, and decide on a meeting spot to reconnect if separated.

Set check in times for older kids.

Besides the challenge of keeping an eye on the little ones, pre-teens and teens are another challenge. Have the older children check in with you throughout the day at a prearranged meeting location and time.

Act quickly if separated.

If you can’t immediately find your child, call out their name to alert others. Then notify the event staff or law enforcement right away.

Being prepared and teaching kids what to do can help avoid panic and safely reunite your family if temporarily separated in a crowd.

Make summertime safety a priority and learn more safety tips at www.naperville.il.us/ASaferNaper.

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Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.
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