I think we all worry about this, but perhaps even more when we’re in a new area or somewhere with large crowds. I remember the first time it hit us and hard, that WE were responsible for the safety and well-being of our precious new little girl! It was on the drive home from the hospital, when little Faith was only 2 days old. So young, innocent and completely helpless.
As she grew older and we added a sibling to the mix, we have discovered various tips and hacks to keeping our kiddos safe, while at home and traveling. Because going on vacations should be fun for the entire family, and making sure your children are safe, is an important part of a successful trip! Below you’ll find different ways to help keep your kids safe on vacation and at home!
Because I’ve included so much awesome-ness here for you guys, I had to split my post in two! After you read part 1 (this post), click here for part 2 of How to Keep Kids Safe on Vacation. I’ll include a link below this article also!
SAFETY IN CROWDS
Heaven forbid you do get separated from your child, the best way to reconnect is setting up ways to get back in touch. By implementing one or more of the following you have a better chance at reconnecting faster than without any contact information on your child.
Bracelets & Necklaces are a good way to easily attach your phone number. You can pickup number and letter beads to thread onto a string. Don’t forget the extra decorative beads like these. I’ve also seen: bracelets made out of duck tape, hospital bracelets and metal engraved ones.
Teach Them a Phone Number: Faith self-taught my phone number to herself, when she was only a couple years old (much to my surprise, since I never sat down reciting it with her). So even if they’re little, it is possible to teach young ones a number they can contact you at. Tip: try making it fun by turning the number into a rhyming song.
Temporary Tattoos: I haven’t personally tried these temporary tattoos, but I have heard great things! They’re cute and have a lot of different themes which come highly recommend from thousands of parents. And have even been featured on NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN and The Today Show! I’ve done a similar idea by using liquid bandage to cover pen ink on skin, which makes it waterproof and last longer than without a cover. Think of it like the top coat to your nail polish. Both are great for crowded places like airports, theme parks, fairs and malls. But I wouldn’t recommend the liquid band-aid version at the beach. On a family trip to FL in the fall of 2016, we did it on Faith’s wrist and it was easily brushed off from playing in the sand. But anywhere else it would be great!
Buttons at Disney: Did you know you can get those ever popular large buttons for FREE at any Disney property? They are great keepsakes and a fun way to let everyone know you are celebrating something! They have buttons for a lot of different celebrations. Just visit the customer service desk inside the parks to get your free buttons. On the front of our kids I wrote “If lost, turn over” and on the back, I wrote their first name with both my husband and I’s numbers listed. Tip: Cover the writing on the front, with scotch tape to prevent it wearing off.
Paper of Important Info in Pockets or Bag: This is a great way to discreetly place a lot more info with your kid without broadcasting it to the world. You can write phone numbers, hotel info, allergy warnings or anything else you want. Make sure to teach your child that if they get lost they should hand it to an adult, like another mom for example with other kids. You can try something like this to hold the note more securely.
GPS watches are becoming increasingly more popular with the younger crowd. It’s a great peace of mind tool for parents to equip kids with, that are too young for cell phones. There are a lot on the market, with more coming out all the time. We just bought Faith this one, I love that it uses GPS, AGPS and LBS for a more accurate and precise location. It also features Two-Way Calls, SOS Emergency Call, Security Fence, Voice Chat, Fitness Tracker, Alarms and alerts you if it’s removed. We haven’t had a chance to set it up yet, but just make to sure read up on it as it only works with two carriers.
You can also get ones like the Gizmo Pal2 and LG Gizmo Gadget if you have Verizon. Which makes it pretty convenient to add onto your plan, if you’re already signed up with them. Because they require access to cell towers, they come with monthly plans, but from research they are pretty cheap, ranging from $5 to $15 a month. If you want it just for the occasional vacation and not everyday use, you can consider doing a prepaid plan vs monthly contract. That way you only pay for it when you use it.
GLOWING NECKLACES AT NIGHT
This is a great idea when you know you’ll be out after dark with your kids. Places like Disney, Fairs and Camping are a few places it would come in handy. Whenever we go to Disney I like to stock up on glowing bracelets and necklaces before we fly out. They are great at easily locating your kids in the dark, plus what kid doesn’t love glow in the dark stuff? Tip: If you’re at Disney, save them until the glow in the dark/light up, carts of toys and souvenirs start to roll around. You can pop them out as a perfect distraction to the over priced light up toys they’ll only play with once.
Role playing different scenarios with your kids is a great way to help maximize regrouping if you get separated. We like to teach our children to look for moms with kids if they get lost. We figure this is the safest and easily identifiable person for our kids to look for and ask for help. I know as a Mom, if I ever see a kid without adults I’d stop to make sure they were okay, safe and help reunite them with their parents. Another type of person to teach your kids to look for is people in uniforms, like police officers, employees and security guards.
Carefully deciding what you and your child wear for the day can make a huge difference! Bright colors will help you and your child stand out from crowds. Which helps everyone locate each other quickly. A good game to play before you leave your hotel in the morning is “What am I wearing today?“. You can play it many ways, but the gist is for everyone memorize what their group is wearing. This is so helpful if you get separated, then everyone knows what to look for. It also helps if they have to describe to someone what you look like. How can a stranger help locate you (someone they have no idea about), in a crowd, if your child responds to the question, “What do they look like/What are they wearing?” with “I don’t know”.
Another helpful tip is to take a photo every morning of each kid in their clothes for the day. That way you can show exactly what your child looks like to people instead of describing, which isn’t as helpful. The same goes with your child, if they have a photo of YOU, they can locate you easier. Too young for cell phones? Use this camera on vacation for instant photos they can keep in their pockets. Also, make sure to protect your child’s identity by not placing their name on them. When lost, kids will open up to strangers more who know their names. This can increase possible threats.
Thanks for reading Part 1 of How to Keep Kids Safe on Vacation and at Home! Since I had so much awesome info for you guys, I had to split my post in two. Click here for Part 2 – How To Keep Kids Safe on Vacation.