Steps to prevent losing your child in a crowded place - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Steps to prevent losing your child in a crowded place

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(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Every parent's worst nightmare is losing a child while in a crowded area.

Now that the summer months are here and kids are out of school, there's a lot time to be spent outdoors at events. Sometimes those events bring large crowds of people, and keeping track of your kids in those crowds can be tough.

Anya Tolbert admits, she like many parents, has a fear that her child could quickly go missing.

"Kids can get away from you mighty quickly and it only takes a second," Tolbert said. "It makes me more cautious when I'm in a public place."

In fact, at crowded events, like the city's Picnic on the River, reports of missing children happen quite often.

"It's very dangerous," said Derrick Cunningham, Chief Deputy of the Montgomery Sheriff's Department. "Anytime you have major event like that where kids and families are going to be, you are going to have that separation time but that's something we prepare for and have missing children designated areas."

It's not just law enforcement who needs to be prepared. Officials say there are things you can do before heading out the door to make sure your child stays safe.

They suggest you have a plan with a designated location, a landmark, for your child to meet you if you ever get separated. Teach them to contact an officer if ever they are scared or don't know where they are. Lastly, make a mental note of exactly what your child is wearing.

"The best thing that parents need to remember is to call 911 immediately and get that info out," Cunningham said. "That way we know their description height, and what they are wearing."

Authorities also suggest that no matter where you are, crowded place or a playground, teach your children not to talk to strangers and maintain eye contact.

"You always want to maintain eye contact," Cunningham said. "You can see any dangers or threats and, at an event, you want to be able to touch your child.

Tolbert says good parenting skills, added with some faith, helps calm her fear and keep her child safe.

One last tip, if your child is young, place your information such as an address and phone number on them either in a pocket, bracelet or necklace.

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