2 Simple Ways to Protect Your Children at an Amusement Park with a Mobile Phone

I was recently visiting an amusement park with my family and I saw a woman running around looking for her lost 4 year old daughter. My heart sank when I saw the look of terror in her eyes. This made me think, “what would I do if this happened to me” and “what could I do to maximize my success in finding my child?” There are great services like AT&T Family Map out there but most 4 year olds don’t carry mobile phones. Heck if the child had a phone she would call her mother. This line of thinking led me to idea #1.

#1  Put an ID bracelet on your child that contains your mobile phone number. In our house we tell the children if you are ever get lost look for a mommy and ask her to call us with the numbers on their bracelet.

Sorry guys, but this is a job for mommies. Think about it. Everyone has a mobile phone and you always carry your mobile phone. So why not make it easy for someone to reach you if they find your child? Then I thought about where I can get an ID bracelet? As mentioned in a previous blog posting I am an avid bike rider. To protect myself I wear an ID tag from a company named RoadID. This tag contains my name, date of birth, blood type, and the all important emergency contact info. I was going to buy all my kids a Road ID but instead found a site that carries IDs that are sized for children. Alternatively, you can just write your phone number on your child’s arm with a ball point pen, but I prefer the bracelet.

As I watched the park security team jump into action to help out the panicking mother I imagined the things they asked. 1) What does she look like, 2) what is she wearing, 3) do you have a recent photo?  Hmmm, this led me to idea #2.

#2 Before you leave the house take a photo of each child with your phone.

We all have photos of our kids, some at home and some on our phones but they are not recent and they don’t show what they are wearing now.  Ideally you can take these photos on a Smartphone that is enabled with email.  This will allow you to email the photo to security to broaden the search.

These ideas are not earth shattering and probably not all that original to some, but they are very effective. I sure hope I never need to run around looking for my child.  However, if it does happen to me the first thing I am going to do is make sure the ringer on my phone is on and loud.

What ideas do you have for protecting your children?  Check out this site for some other great ideas.  Do you have any other ideas — both technical and non-technical — which could help in tracking children?  Help out your fellow parents by sharing your ideas.
Don Parente Technology Strategy and Chief Architect Director AT&T About Don