In a previous post, I shared an idea that might help your child contact you should he or she become separated from you. But, does your child know who to turn to for help when he or she is lost? It’s a great idea to work out a separation plan with your child.
A few years ago, my son and I spent a Saturday morning participating in safety training class that was offered by our local Down syndrome organization. The kids and parents had the opportunity to talk about and practice several safety strategies. The biggest takeaway for me was the concept of pointing out safe people that my child can turn to if he needs help. The instructor suggested that when we go to a crowded public place such as a festival, the airport, a sporting event, a mall, etc., we should look around with our child and point out helpers to him or her. What a fantastic idea!
So now, when we go to a hockey, baseball, or basketball game, I point out the ushers at the entrance to every seating section. I talk about how they are easy to recognize because they all have the same uniform and how they all have a name badge. Rather than wandering around searching for us, I instruct my son to go to an usher if he loses us. The ushers are helpers and can help him contact us.
When we go to a theme park I point out the park employees at all of the different booths. At the airport I show him the people working at all the gates. We recently went to a 4th of July festival where we pointed out the police officers and festival officials who were constantly driving by on golf carts. Now, there are some places like parks, where an official or employee might not be readily available to help him. In those situations, I instruct him to find another mom. I think that the average mother will keep a young child safe and help a child find his or her mom.
While I hope that my kiddo will never have to find a helper in a public place or use that phone number that I wrote in his shoe, I feel much better knowing that we are constantly talking about our separation plan.
Do you have a separation plan or safety idea? I would love to hear it in the comments below.