When we were little kids, we used to be amused by our mum’s paranoia when we were going on a family trip abroad. She used to go to see a man on the market who engraved cheap metal tags to go onto dogs’ collars. She’d have them engraved with the name and address of the hotel we were staying in.
At that time, we all wore thin gold chains around our necks (along with St Christopher medals – the saint who protects travellers) and when we were away, the dog tags were added to our chains. I don’t think there was ever one occasion when one of us got lost and needed the info.
But although we scoffed when we were young, it was quite a good idea really, wasn’t it? But there are other ways in which you can locate your child should he or she get lost these days and the most valuable tool in this regard is, of course, the cellphone.
Older children can have their own cheap cellphone for vacation use but for younger kids, then knowing your cellphone number is an essential if the child is old enough. If the child isn’t able to then you can ‘tattoo’ your number on the child’s upper arm with a Sharpie.
But it’s quite easy to teach quite young children your cellphone number if you set it to music! If you recite your number using a catchy tune that your child already knows, then it will sink in much faster. For example:
To the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star:
Nine six four
Six six three one
Seven two two
And that’s my mum
It’s also a good idea to take a photograph of your kid/s when you’re setting off on an adventurous day. Apart from providing you with memories of your holiday, having a totally up to date photograph of your kid is a good idea in case you get separated.
If one of your children goes missing, in your panic, you might not be able to remember exactly what your child was wearing. The recent photograph will enable you to show the photograph to anyone who is helping you locate your lost child. And you can make the morning photograph session into a fun daily activity for your kid, there’s no need to let them know why you’re doing so.
If kids are old enough, they can be told that in the event they get lost, to look for a police officer. But police people aren’t everywhere. An alternative that might be simpler for the kid is that they should approach a mother who is with her own kids. There are very few mothers in the world who could resist the plight of a lost child.
But technology can also come to our aid. There are some fabulous watches available today that kids can wear to that you can locate them. Or take a look at the tracking tags that are available (a 21st-century version of my mum’s solution). They were developed to track keys, pets and so on but work just as well with children.
A really low-cost option are the disposable bracelets on which you can write your details and your child wears them around the wrist. Or opt for the more permanent version. All these items are useful at home as well as on your travels.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.