how to prevent your child from getting lost

missing child at carnivalEvery year, at every fair, kids get separated from their parents. It’s quite common. The good news is that they always get found and reunited.

But the feeling of separation is terrifying for both the parent and the child.

Make sure you enjoy a fun-filled day of adventure at the carnival by being fully prepared and informed should one of your kids become separated from you. A fairground is big, crowded place and even a few moments of being separated can cause immense anxiety.

Fortunately, fairs have safeguards in place for reuniting lost children with their families. In many cases, police and even surveillance cameras help a great deal.

Still, it’s important to be safe and have your own plan for preventing your child being lost at the fair and for reuniting quickly if it happens.

What to Do When Your Child is Missing

  • First, stay calm so you can think. Kids don’t usually stray too far.
  • Do a quick search of the immediate area at child’s eye height. Notice anything that may have caught your child’s attention – an ice cream or cotton candy truck, a game with giant stuffed animals, a ride, etc.
  • Call out your child’s name as you scan and search.
  • Keep the rest of your group together.
  • Do not wander off yourself. If everyone goes in different directions, everyone gets lost.
  • Inform the nearest fair employee. All workers are instructed on what to do in cases of separated children.

In BC… Look for the Turquoise Shirts!

If you are at a BC fair where Shooting Star Amusements provides the midway rides and games, our employees are easily identifiable by the bright turquoise shirts they wear. All of them know the procedure to follow when a child is lost.

If they find a lost child, they will take him/her to the ticket booths.

Great Tips to Be Prepared

Just before you leave for the fair, take a family photo on your cellphone. Make sure it clearly shows your children and what they are wearing. This will provide officials with much better information than a verbal description.

When you get there, show your children these things:

  • Designate a meeting point. Pick a spot easily visible from everywhere in the park to be your family’s meeting place. The Ferris Wheel is a great example. Tell people that they should go there and wait if they get separated.
  • Help Center and Lost Persons Booth. Tell your children they can go here if they are lost and if it’s closer than the meeting point.
  • Important people. Point out to your child who to go to if they get separated: fair staff, police, security, etc. (Show your kid the Shooting Star turquoise shirts.)

Young Kids (7 years old and under)

  • Pin a note to your child’s clothing. Written on it should be their first and last name, your name, and your mobile number.
  • Dress them in bright colors. Neons and fluorescents are best.
  • Hold your child’s hand when walking at a pace that is comfortable for the young one.
  • Place very small children in strollers and tie an identifying ribbon on the stroller. Many strollers look alike.

Older Kids (8 years and up)

  • If your child has a phone, program it with all the contact numbers they will need.
  • Use a buddy system. Have them go in pairs to anywhere they might be starting to go independently– to the bathroom, on rides, etc.
  • Have a plan and designated meeting place.
  • Teach them about stranger danger. Be cautious with grown-ups asking for help, never approach a strange car, yell loudly if a stranger tries to get them to go somewhere, etc.

Use these tips, have a plan, and look for the turquoise shirts of friendly Shooting Star employees. Then you will be sure to have a successful and enjoyable day at any of BC’s spring, summer and fall fairs

See you there!

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