Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Rubygoose, Feb 12, 2013.
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We are definitely doing the matching-ish shirts every day to help everyone stay together too. You can see them in my pre-trip report below! (I'm not excited, right? We will probably be leaving 2 weeks from TODAY!)
I bought a little beaded bracelet for our DS, with our phone number on it. I'm also going to write it on a label to go on the inside of his shirt or write it on him somewhere in sharpie, just in case the bracelet comes off (it shouldn't, but you never know).
We've been working on him memorizing our phone number, too. Other than that, like others have said, we'll teach him to find a Mommy with kids or a CM.
I wish we could still use the leash on him (I have no problem with it; it's hard on their little arms and hands to constantly have to hold someone's hand, and it gives them a little bit of perceived freedom, as well; not to mention my peace of mind). Unfortunately he's outgrown his monkey backpack leash. I wonder if they make them any bigger... Hmmm.
You will likely be in lost child area before they will be making a phone call. I'm sure the switchboard can get an outside line, but their protocol doesn't include calling you. More like if they find an abandoned kid and can't find a parent or report of a missing kid for awhile they may try and call. People rely on the phone numbers and don't realize that Disney isn't going to call you and say "meet your kid by Peter Pan".
My kids are teens now, but when thy were little I would sharpie my cell number on their arm, and always taught them (Disneyland or not) that you should go to a mom with kids. Moms with kids know what kids need, they have cell phones, and they'll be able to help you get back to me.
I don't mean to harp on this, but you really should have your kids find a Cast Member rather than a stranger who appears to be a "mom with kids" (and why does no one ever mention a dad with kids--both men and women can be either trustworthy or not, just because a woman is somewhere with kids doesn't mean she's a good person). I'd much rather my kids talk to a Disney employee than a stranger and the CMs are trained on what to do when a child has lost their parents.
Lol... yes, a dad with kids is likely just as safe but both my girls are much more comfortable approaching a mom. Plus, moms are usually better at making kids feel better... it's our gift
To clarify, a mom with kids is option B. In Disneyland, it really isn't an issue as there are CMs everywhere you look but in other places, employees aren't always as easy to find (thinking walking down a busy street in a large city). Rather than wandering around getting more lost trying to find an elusive employee, it's best to flag down someone you can almost guarantee is safe... and for us, that means someone else with kids as they can empathize and know what both the child and the parent are going through and know what to do to calm the child down... hopefully .
Oh, and my dh would have no idea what to do with a strange child who walked up to him saying he was lost. Well, he would know what to do, technically, but the last thing he would want is to be walking around with a missing child. It's really sad but people view a strange man with a lost child completely different than a strange mom with a lost child.
Besides the comments here, taking a photo of your kids each day so you ( and the CMs ) know what she or he is wearing is helpful.
The only confusing aspect of things is that CMs generally wear different outfits. It's not like at Walmart and you can tell your kids to look for somebody wearing a blue vest. I told DD to go into a store and ask anybody that was working behind the counters if she was unsure just who exactly the cast members were. Or look for the specific CM name tag which you can do on your first day they and if you are there for several days, repeat the lesson each day as little ones memories are well, little.
I 2nd the suggestion of finding a mom with kids. This is what the book "Protecting the Gift" suggests. You can teach the concept to even toddlers and I have done it with my kids.
My 9 year old son went missing in Cars land, I wasn't overly concerned because of his age and the fact it was our 5th day in the parks so he was some what familiar with the area we looked for him in carsland and then decided to walk to the next ride (tower of terror) becaues he knew that's what we were doing next. Once we arrived there and he wasn't there I asked the cm at the fastpass if she could call the lost kids area to see if he was there. He had decided we were missing and looked on the map and walked himself there to the lost child center and told them we were missing.
so sometimes kids do listen because although I made jokes to my kids and husband that if they went missing during our trip that they should sit on the ground and cry and we would be able to find them, but while walking around I pointed out the lost kids center and I guess he was listening because that's where he went.
We do the safety tats for our kids, but if we for any reason don't have one then I would get a disney button and write our number on the back of that, nicer than writing it on my kids arm because by the end of a week long trip that number is probably a big black mess rather than anything legible. I tell my kids to try to find a CM, but as others have mentioned, they all have different uniforms and that can be confusing to kids. They also know to look for a mom or family with kids.
Here's why we use the arm... Dog tags or bracelets? Got left on the counter in the hotel room... Buttons, got left on yesterdays shirt. Put business cards in pockets? It got lost. Using on of our sharpies we used for autographes on the upper arm? Kids never lost their arm, left it behind, forgot it, etc... We usually used red or orange, kids would remind us to darken it. They usually got to pick their color. We travel with nieces and nephews. It was too hard for them to learn our numbers. It was just easier to write it on their arms.
We have used safety tats for anywhere we have gone around here with big crowds. I love them and plan on ordering some more before our trip
Sorry to jump in so late, but I have a great alternate idea for people who want to do dog tags, bracelets, etc.
I went to the party store and bought a package of neon-colored wrist bands, the kind you get at a nightclub, swimming pool, whatever. They are made of something like paper, but it is must stronger and can't be torn off by little hands. I got a package of like 200 for about $3.
Now we take a few with us on every trip and write our cell numbers on those. Much easier than writing on a child's arm, etc. We used these on a cruise and were able to put our cabin number on the wristband, so they could look up who was staying there and page us if DD got lost. Worked great since we couldn't use cell phones at sea!
Anyway, just my two cents, but it's an easy solution!
Seriously. As a full-time stay-at-home dad, I'm finding all of the suggestions to find a mom with kids irritating and more than a touch sexist. I'd know exactly what to do with a lost kid, and am extremely adept at interacting with unfamiliar kids if they look like they need some kind of help.
I wholeheartedly agree! I must say though, I wouldn't tell my kids to EVER approach ANY random stranger, man or woman, if lost. You go to a CM or a police officer. They have a place they take lost kids. A stranger could take your kid anywhere. And teaching kids that they don't need to be afraid of moms is just crazy. Women can be child abusing sickos too,, the just don't get outed as often.
I get the cell phone angle, but I still wouldn't have them approach a stranger.
I tell my kids to find a mom with children because they are more comfortable approaching a woman they don't know than a man. It is not intended to be sexist on my part and was not intended to be an insult against fathers. Your mileage may vary and I think that each family should pick a solution that they are comfortable with.
As someone who works close with abduction prevention and related situations the main thing everyone says is to teach the child to stay put if lost.
Don't go looking for mom, dad, cop - stay put
Followed by "make a scene" the more noise and attention drawn in the safer you are. Going to any stranger and asking for help is potentially asking to be taken and that leads to a whole new issue.
Of course of all places to get lost I would say Disney is one of the best/safest but you can't teach kids do this at Disney, do this at the mall, do this here or there
I agree. Telling your child to find a mom with kids is encouraging them to approach a stranger. I was always taught as a kid to stay put if I was lost, and when I was a bit older, my parents would establishing a meeting point where we would go if we got separated. I was never told to approach someone I didn't know (out of uniform) and ask for help. It seems like doing that would be making a child much more vulnerable. This is the type of child those crazy people seek out.
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