A few months ago I lost my little one. It was a week before her 3rd birthday and we went with a big family group to the Georgia Aquarium. It was a Sunday and crowded. Devon was still potty training so I took her with me to the also crowded bathroom with some other family members. Devon freaked out at the overcrowded bathroom and the tiny size of the stall. A family member told me to send my little one down while I used the bathroom. So I did. The family member thought that Devon went into the stall with me and even her dad didn't see her wander by him because he also assumed she was with me. She wasn't and went I came out and there was no child, I freaked but remained calm and we all spread out to look. I feel like we looked everwhere and even security came over to help. I was able to remember exactly what she was wearing. Even with 5 adults plus security looking it took about 15 min to locate Devon, who was twirling in front of the gift shop by the big stuffed fish. All by herself. We were reunited and Devon was fine until she saw me crying and squeezing her flat.
I realized that day that I could not just continue as I was, I needed a game plan in case it happened again. I knew I had to share it as well so when a child gets lost it is not just the parent who must remember, note and report but the child can help even if she can't talk (like my Devon at age 2). I worried that even if she was found that she could not give her info, tell a grown up that she was lost, her parent's name or any info at all. My idea was a tag that is pinned to the kid's clothing that contains the info needed to find a parent should a grownup or security locate the child. The "Find Me" tag lists the childs first name so security can comfort the little one, both parents names and cell phone numbers so they can be contacted immediately.
But this tag alone is not enough. I recommend coupling it with a cell phone picture of your kid before you enter any attraction. Get a whole body shot, even shoes and hair are important to someone who doesn't know your kid. This ensure that when you state that your daughter is wearing a pink shirt and jeans that security knows exactly which pink shirt and jeans plus any other detail you can't pull from your panicked brain.
To make your own "Find Me" tag you will need a sheet of white printable shrink plastic and the "Find Me" down-loadable template (see below). Print the template onto the shrink plastic and write in your info. Punch a hole at the top for a safety pin and bake according to the shrink plastic instructions. If it helpful to make several to keep in your purse, car, spouses car or with grandparent info instead of parent info if you stay at home and your kids go with the grands.
Luckily I have not experienced this again to know how effective the "Find Me" tag is but I do feel better knowing that if Devon gets lost again at least she can help find her mommy as much as her mommy is trying to find her.