Whether you're headed to the beach, the zoo, a festival or a farm, your child's safety is of paramount importance when you're out and about. Kids can get themselves into trouble in a blink of an eye, and it's near impossible to keep tabs on all of them at all times - but there are a few ways you can improve their safety before you even leave the house.
These handy plan-ahead hacks are ideas that every parent should know. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Try this cool plaster trick
The Clovice Police Department in California shared this genius trick on their Facebook page, showing how you can give your child semi-permanent contact details with a marker and a liquid bandage. 'Write your phone number on their wrist and cover it with liquid band aid in case you get separated,' they explain. If you're planning a busy summer holiday where you're out a lot, you can also get a sheet of temporary tattoo transfers that have the same effect.
Take a photo
The police department also advises taking a picture of your child before you head out. 'Take a photo of them using your cell phone the morning of the event so you have their clothing, hair style, and up to date photo,' they write - this way, if the worst does happen and you lose track of them, you can provide a completely accurate description. Take an individual picture of each child to ensure they're as clear as possible.
Make a safety bracelet
If your child is old enough to wear accessories without breaking them or slipping them on or off, you can upgrade them from pen and plaster to a bracelet that uses numbered beads to convey the same details. Varying versions of the bracelet can also be used to indicate other useful info like 'nut allergy' or 'gluten intolerant'.
Avoid personalised clothing
T-shirts or backpacks with kids' names on can be cute, but they can harbour potential danger if a stranger approaches the child and identifies them - talking to a child by name makes it much more believable that the person in question knows your family. For days when you're going to be in a crowd, leave the name-labelled items at home and go for bright colours that can easily be spotted from afar.
Keep them close
Image: Parking Pal Magnet
If you're trying to unpack the picnic, the blanket, the toys or the tents, it's easy for kids to get bored and wander off. Magnetic stickers that you can place on the car give them an easy visual cue to stay in one place - remind them that they need to have one hand on the car at all times, or it's no ice cream at the beach, or toy from the souvenir store...