When he was 2, I once lost him on the beach. You think this is crazy right? He was right beside me and I had my eyes on him. Suddenly he saw tire tracks on the sand and started to follow them. I immediately got up and followed him. He was fast and I was slow digging between all the towels and sun-bathers blocking my path.
I called out to him, but the noise of the ocean and the voices of people playing beach-volley, added to my toddler’s concentration on the tire tracks he was following, made it impossibly for him to hear me.
If I lost vision of him, and if someone found him, even someone nice, who would take him to a police station or something, he would never be able to tell them where we lived (we were on holiday), what my phone number was, probably could not even say his family name, because he would be frightened, had nothing on him to help an investigator because he was wearing a swimsuit only.
Suddenly I spotted him. He was talking to a stranger. I ran over, looking like a dangling mannequin, oxygen was flowing in my lungs, life was starting again, and I was furious. Unfairly furious at my son for going away like this, forgetting me, the most important person in his life, unfairly furious at the stranger who was holding my son’s arm and listening to him “I don’t know where is my Mum.” But really really furious at myself for not having any safety identification on my child and letting such a silly situation get out of hand by the lack of preparation.
I grabbed him, hissed a vague “thank you” and waited until I was away from everyone who had seen this scene to kneel down and hug him like his life depended on this embrace.
– “I was so scared, I could not see you! Please never go away from me again!”
When I came back home that evening, I searched for the business card someone handed me once at an exhibition. I had thought then “what a great idea!” and I never acted on it. I found the card, browsed their website and ordered an ID set faster than I could spell my address.
This website does not exist anymore, but I found the following:
– http://www.kidsafeid.com/ (when I reached the “ORDER” page, my browser said that the site is not safe, quite ironic, don’t you think?)
– http://store.safetytat.com/store/ (link on the left) I like this one very much! and they have wonderful tips on how to keep children safe while in strange places.
This is not all it takes, but it helps.