17 May 2014, by Mandy Loh
About a month ago, Cristan accidentally locked himself in his room. Very unfortunately, I had no idea where the room key was (I know, bad mommy!) so the only way to get him out was to calmly talk him through how to unlock the door.
Thankfully, Cristan did not freak out and could follow my instructions well, so we had a happy ending to a potentially bad situation. I shudder to think about how terrible it would be if he had a panicked crying fit in the room and we couldn’t get to him!
After that incident, I started to think about other emergencies that may arise, and how we could prepare for them. Top of my list was the scenario of Cristan getting separated from us while in a public place, because as any parent would know, all kids have a special ability to disappear within 3 nanoseconds of you turning your head away from them. And now that we have baby Caris, I foresee that there would be instances where we might be preoccupied with her and lose sight of Cristan for just that little while.
So I started my “contingency training” by drilling him on what to do if he was accidentally left in an elevator by himself (highly likely in crowded shopping malls). Every time we got into a lift, I would tell him that if he found himself alone in the lift, he should stay put where he was, and we would look for him. I mean, it would be a disaster if he decided to run out when the door opened at the next floor and we would have no idea where he might be.
I repeated these instructions a few times until his little voice would pipe out, even when not prompted: “Stay in the lift, mommy and daddy would come look for me!” each time we were in a lift. Haha, well done, son!
Another important measure was ensuring that Cristan had our contact details on him so that if he was ever lost, whoever found him would be able to call us. As he is still too young to memorise our mobile numbers, the next best thing would be to have the numbers written down somewhere.
When we were in Taiwan last September, I had scribbled our contact details on a piece of paper, but that was only a temporary measure and the note was always in danger of dropping out/ getting wet. What’s more, it was really a hassle to keep remembering to take that piece of paper out of his pocket at the end of the day, and putting it into his pocket again the next day.
So I was pretty chuffed to find out about the Child Safety ID Wristband from My Safety ID, which is basically a wearable contact card for kids!
It’s a brilliantly simple product consisting of a velcro wristband and a contact card where you fill in the child’s name and up to 2 emergency contact numbers. There is also space for other important information such as medication or allergies. The contact card can then be tucked securely into a slot inside the wristband, kept out of sight until needed. It is also waterproof, which is great for water playgrounds! Best of all, it looks cool so the munchkin was happy to wear it!
It’s perfect for overseas travel, as well as outings to crowded places like shopping malls or theme parks. While it might not prevent Cristan from getting lost, it certainly provides some peace of mind that in the dreaded event he does go missing, the kind soul who finds him would be able to easily contact us.
Of course, the best way to prevent a lost-and-found scenario is to always be present and watchful when out with our children (eg. paying attention to them instead of, say, our mobile devices). However, unfortunate things do happen in life, so I suppose the only thing we can do is be prepared!