Yesterday while shopping at Kohl’s I ended up having to make a bathroom run with the older two Scribblers. You know what I am talking about. Being all the way at the front of the store with your purchases, standing in line and about to check out; when someone starts the pee-pee dance and the “chant”. So we race the seemingly 5 mile sprint to the back of the store in the far corner to the bathroom.
After finishing our business of examining each stall, trying out every sink and joyfully playing with the automatic towel dispenser (Who thought of these things and why do they only work if I flay my hands around like a cheap magician trying to impress you with a trick?) we exited the bathroom to be met by a frantic looking man who asked “Was there a little girl in there?” I didn’t see one, but I went back to check. Nope, nobody was in the bathroom at all. I went back to the man and told him it was empty and asked how old was she and did he not see her come out?
Um…because your kid might be on the back of a milk carton if you don’t. How about that for a reason?
He ran off to alert the clerk and I went the opposite direction with instructions the the Scribblers that we were looking for a little girl named Emily and to help me call her. We found her sitting quietly by the kids jewelry and hair bows and I told her that her Dad was looking for her and to come with me.
She asked no questions and willingly took my hand. I cringed!!!
After returning her back to her grateful and meek father, I proceeded to have him for lunch concerning child safety. There are a few things that I suggested to him, that I want to pass along to you.
- Never, ever, ever, ever, amen…send a young child into a bathroom by themselves and then LEAVE the door. If your child is the opposite sex than you, grab a store clerk that is filing their nails or typing on their cell phone and ask for them to accompany your child into the restroom. Always stand guard outside the bathroom door and do not leave your post for any reason. Your child trusts that you will only allow them to go somewhere that they will be safe. It’s not just a “stranger-danger” taking your child from the bathroom, but what could happen if they are unattended inside the restroom.
- Always know what color clothes your child is wearing. If they do disappear, wander off, whatever…be able to tell someone their hair color, height, color of shirt.
- Teach your child a password. Something easy to remember that if someone was to approach them and tell them “Your mommy/daddy told you to come with me” they will request the password and not leave with anyone who does not know it, but leave the area, screaming and search out a store clerk.
- If you child becomes separated from you and can’t find you, they should immediately go to a store clerk or a mom with children and tell them that they have lost their parent.
By following just one of the rules, yesterday could have been prevented for this little girl.
What safety rules do your children follow in public?