10 Tried & Tested Ways of Keeping Toddler SAFE in crowd

Keeping toddler safe in crowd
Photo by Caleb Woods


Keeping children safe or protecting them from danger is every parent's priority. It is quite a freighting thought about children getting hurt or lost when you are out and about isn't it?


That’s why it becomes absolutely necessary to keep an eye on the little ones all the time when you are out. At the same time, it is crucial to talk to them about basic safety. 


In case you got a toddler who is like mine it could not be that easy to take them out without caring much. My child is a bit spirited… actually “super active” and quite social. 


She likes running around throughout the day, waving and smiling back at strangers, greeting everyone while leaving the building and the list goes on.


I realized that is important to make some rules for my little one and for myself to ensure child safety in crowd. 


And to keep reminding her of the rules and asking her to memorize some credentials so that we both can enjoy more than worrying when going out.


Let me share the moment when I had a panic attack. It's when I realized I couldn't spot my daughter when she was out to play with her friends. 



(Moment of panic)


I won’t forget that day when I stayed out a bit longer than usual. Most of the parents with their kids were there, in the open area outside my residential apartment. My daughter (15 months old) and her friends were playing. 


A few minutes later I was joined by a few mommy friends living in the same building and we started chatting. But I always kept my eyes on her most of the time. 


In a few second's time, I realized I was not able to spot her. She was running after her friend seconds ago but in a blink of an eye, she disappeared. 


I started shaking out of panic. My eyes looking in every direction possible and I was calling out her name as loud as possible. I just can’t explain in words how terrified I was. It almost felt like my heart jumped out of my chest. 


One of her friends heard me and said they have walked ahead a bit and playing on the other side of the building. Tears were rolling out until I saw her. I hugged her tight kissed her and couldn’t utter a single word at that moment. 


I couldn’t believe in a split of seconds this could happen. A lot of negative thoughts also fill up your mind when you are stressed, isn’t it? As a parent, it was my toughest few seconds that still shakes me up. 



Since then I made few easy rules for her like Don’t go far from mommy, don’t go to the road, don’t talk to strangers etc. These are some of the common rules for generations. 


Am sure she did not understand most of them then but now she does. Also, rules for me were being vigilant all the time when am out with her, using a stroller most times, teaching her about basic information like her and our full name & address. 



How to keep your toddler safe in-crowd?



You can say these are some of the safety measures while going out in a crowded place.


Or


Precautions to take while in a public place (museum, adventure park, theatre, zoo, beach, fair, carnival, etc.)



Here are some tried & tested ways of keeping your toddler safe in crowd/ public:




1. In the site all the time:



Try to keep a watchful eye on them every time. 


The first and foremost important thing to be done when you go out with your toddler is to make sure they are always within the reach of your eyes. 


Never let them run far off from you, better to actually keep them close. 


Let them know that they might get lost that is the reason why you are asking them to stay close.




2. They should know their boundaries:



Teach them what never to do. Let your kids know their limits. Like:


Let them know that till where they are allowed to go and not when they are out. 

Talking to strangers is a big No-No. Tell them not to go with anyone anywhere except you or the caregiver. 

If any stranger asking for help turn them away or simply ignore. 

Not to accept toys/ candy from strangers. 


Before taking them out make it clear to the child what he/she is allowed to do and what not.




3. Help them memorize their full name, address & other credentials:



Toddlers usually can say their names starting from 2 years of age. 


Every child develops at a different rate so some may quickly understand and learn basics while others may take some time. 


It becomes crucial to teach them their full names, your name (parents/caregivers), address and telephone no.




4. Your phone no. should be with them when going out:



Younger children often can’t remember all the digits of a phone no. 


Even if they do they might not remember it when they are stressed out.


So, it is easier to either write your no. on their hand with a marker OR put a small piece of paper with your no. on it and put it in a pocket. 




5. Teach them to say “No” & listen to your No’s at the same time:



Let them know the power of “no” and not to feel shy about it. It is amongst the first few words that we teach to our little ones. 


Tell them in case they are not comfortable in any situation they can always voice their disapproval by saying no. 


And if you as a parent saying “no” then they should understand that you don’t want them to do what they are doing. 



6. Instruct what to do if can’t spot mommy/ daddy:



“What to do if you can’t find mommy” is another important question we need to ask. 


As parents, we should tell our children about what should kids do when they can’t see you around. 



(a) No wandering off:

 

Tell them that they should stay where they are when they realize they are separated rather than wandering off.


(b) Safety first:

 

If they are in a much-crowded place or near road or waterbody they need to move from there & find a safe place for them.


(c) Ask for help


Adults in uniform or with kids are often safe to ask for help. Teach them who are the people who can help them: police, a guard, a fireman, a mom with kids.


(d) What to say


Teach them what to say if your kids find themselves lost. Like, I am lost or I can’t find mommy or Daddy. 


 


7. Use a safety Harness or use stroller:



Not every kid would like to hold hands all the time when they go out with you. 


Most kids like to enjoy the freedom of running around, looking at things closely, and touching them.


The best thing you can do is to use a safety harness like anti-lost safety wrist cuff or safety harness backpacks if they don’t like to sit in a pushchair or pram. 




8. Repeat the message:



Make sure you repeat all your instructions about what to do and what no to do to keep your child safe in a crowded place. Repetitions help them learn better. 


Remind them of the rules for their safety like never talk/walk away with people who they don’t know & never to keep secrets from you. 


In case they forget any important information when needed, tell them about where can they find it (bag pack/pocket). 


By repeating stuff you are making yourself more clear so don’t think it is unnecessary to tell the instructions again even if they know it. 





9. You can consider using a GPS tracker:



If your kids are heading back to school or going out to play with friends and you don’t want to constantly think about their safety then a GPS tracker is the best for you. 


You can choose a watch or a device to clip on the backpack to know their whereabouts.


Having a personal GPS tracker offers real-time tracking from your phone and helps you to get to them when required. You can get an alert if your child feels that he/she is in a problem.  




10. Brighten & lighten them: 


You can consider dressing your little ones in bright colours. Or tie some vibrant coloured balloons in their wrist. It makes it easier for you to sport them. 


Also, if you are attending any night time event, try using glow sticks. Yeah, the illuminating sticks often used in parties.




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It is not that we are negligent or irresponsible. It is not always possible to multifunction at times for parents. Don’t forget that we are humans after all and not robots. 


A child can get separated from parents easily in a crowded place and can happen with anyone. So, talk to your toddler about safety. My daughter is 3 now and I am glad that she understands safety much better than before.



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