Here are a few real life stories of children that got lost. These tales are good examples of what parents often go through, we hope that with this series of info we have been sharing in our recent posts, we can minimize these common incidents and have you better prepared in such an event:
Missing from men’s room
Jennifer Slater, of Kennesaw, Georgia, waited outside the door while her 5-year-old son, David, used the men’s room at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. After a few minutes, she poked her head in and called for him. Silence. She asked an exiting gentleman to check, and he told her there was no child inside. “By this time I was in full-out panic,” Slater recalls. She ran back to the gate, grabbed her brother-in-law, and sent him in. To her relief, he came out with Slater’s son. “It turns out the bathrooms at O’Hare have two entrances, which are accessible from two different hallways,” Slater says. “My son had gone out the other door, and that’s where my brother-in-law found him.”
The Tip: Some situations are simply hard to predict. But if you have a son who’s reluctant to accompany you into a women’s room, try seeking a family restroom you can use together.
Didn’t get on the subway
Vanessa Wauchope was using public transit to bring home two children she babysat in New York City. As she shuffled with the crowd onto the subway, the doors closed before the 7-year-old could squeeze in. “I turned around to see his big eyes looking at me on the other side of the glass,” she recalls. Wauchope knew the family plan, which was to stay where you are if you get lost. She immediately got off with the other child at the next stop, ran and hopped onto the first train back. “When we got there, we raced down the platform, yelling his name,” she says. “Sure enough, there he was, sitting and calmly waiting right where we left him.”
The Tip: In crowded situations, keep kids in front of you (literally) at all times, and remind them to stay put if they become separated from you.
Wandered from home
Alice-Ann Menjivar and her 2-year-old daughter, Susana, often walked to the grocery store a few blocks away in their Washington, D.C., suburb. One day while the family hosted a backyard cookout, they realized Susana was missing. “We looked all over the house and she wasn’t there, then we finally searched the neighborhood,” says Menjivar. “Three doors down around the corner, we found her pushing her stroller. She said she was taking her baby to Safeway.”
The Tip: Even with a house full of people, a small child can wander off unnoticed. Make sure you delegate at least one adult to keep track of the kids.
We hope you have benefited from this series and pray you can continue to share these tips. Please do leave us some more tips we may have left out or what you may have learned from your own experiences in the comments section below!