Since the biggest threat to a child's safety is his/her family and friends - can we do away with stranger danger? Instead teach them their bodies are there own, to report anyone that hurts them, what to do if they are lost and to trust their gut feelings. It is sad how shocked zoo and museum employees are when Loren, Brett or their cousins ask questions. The docents always tell us that kids rarely ask them questions directly - usually they ask the parent who asks the docent.
In the last couple of years I've encountered lost kids that refused to talk to anyone trying to help them. Refused to give their name - or their parent name. Instead they screamed help stranger/I want mommy. 2 of the times I had my teacher id - and they responded to that and gave me their names. At least their lives weren't in danger like this boy. His parents had him so afraid of strangers - he hid from rescuers searching for him in the wilderness.
Great idea. All things I try to do. I'm so glad that you included that link and story. That never occurred to me
I actually read a great idea here on EHell a few weeks ago and suggested it on my DD. If you're lost, look for a parent, like a mommy and ask for help. If they just ask an adult, it could be dangerous, but asking a parent for help, or statistically safer, a mother, might be safer.
Loren, Brett, and their cousins know if lost
1. DO NOT LEAVE/DO NOT GO TO THE CAR No adults will leave until we have all kids accounted for and with us.
2. Find someone to help Give them the card with our phone number on it
A. Docent/employee a manned counter is best (Merry-go-round at the zoo and ask Mr. Melvin for help.)
B. If some that isn't easy look for a cop/fire fighter (really paramedics at street fairs and such)
C. Look for people with kids that look happy and ask them to help you find a police officer or call your adult. (Not because people without kids can't be trusted - but people with kid either have a lost kid or will have a lost kid sometime in the future.)
Funny lost kid story. There was this kid, who was being a real brat - hitting birds at the zoo. I finally had enough and look at her "grandparents" and say something about she shouldn't be hitting the pigeons with the stick. They look at me and stammer "she isn't with you?". They had been walking basically the same path as us, with this little girl following. I thought she was with them, they thought she was with me and mine. She was completely fine being on her own. We flag down an employee tell them she isn't with either of our groups and is hitting the birds.
Turns out they were looking for her, but they expected her to upset or crying. We probably passed a dozen employees looking for her - but didn't see her because they were expecting a crying child. Her family arrives and smothers her with kisses.
One thing I've heard of for older kids with communication issues, who might not show a card with a number on it to a stranger - Write the parent's phone number on the arm with marker.