Days out are a great way to spend time with your kids, but they can also become a safety challenge. Every parent has experienced that gut-wrenching moment of panic when their child disappears from sight. With the disappearance of five year-old, April Jones, making front pages last year, many parents are frightened for their kids’ safety.
Between 2011–2012, as many as 532 children were abducted in England and Wales alone – much better that 2004-2005, where figures reached highs of 1,035. Although it’s unlikely that anything untoward will happen to your little ones, when enjoying a day out, it’s best to be prepared, whether that’s packing a few plasters in your bag or making your children memorize your phone number.
Encouraging Your Children To Learn Contact Details
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In some cases, you may get separated from your children. If they’re old enough, make sure that the kids know your mobile number and the contact details of someone else, like your partner. Although you may not be keen on letting your children have a mobile from a young age, an old brick phone is handy in-case of emergencies.
If your kids really are too small for a mobile, attach your phone number on a wristband and tell them to approach someone working in a shop, or a mum/dad with children, if they get lost. Teach them what to say and who not to approach.
Dealing With Strangers
Kids have more common sense than you think, but if a stranger approaches them, tell your children not to leave with that person and to scream and fight, if they feel threatened. Even if the adults say they’re your friends, tell your child to refuse their advances.
Although you’ll obviously teach your children to be non-violent, some self-defence never goes amiss. In the long term, it may be an idea to get your kids to join martial arts classes from a young age.
On summer days especially, you’ll want to keep sun protection at a maximum. Always keep a bottle of sun cream in your bag to apply every few hours. Summer hats are also a must for kids that’ll wear them.
On a day out, it’s important to allocate a meeting point for your children, should they get lost. Choose an obvious, easy to reach place and tell your kids to wait there until you appear, if they get separated from you.
If the area has a lake or pond nearby, never let children who can’t swim wander around unattended. When at the beach, make sure that the kids know the safety protocol – the sea can be particularly dangerous for tots. Choose beaches with lifeguards and always make sure children stay between the red flags.
You’ve never had a better excuse to dress your kids in bright, rainbow colors. For particularly high-risk days out, where it’s possible you may lose sight of your kids, dress them in eye-catching shades.
Knowsley Safari Park offer a great days out experience for all the family – visit their page relating to what you can get up to.
Photo Credit: Chinese Family Takes A Walk by Scott Meltzer