What do you do when you lose a child in a crowded area? Besides for losing your mind and subsequently, your temper when you find said lost child, its time to become proactive by preparing your non-verbal or nearly non-verbal child(ren) with identification information secured to their clothing or skin.
If a child becomes separated from you, another adult can easily see, and contact you with the information located on your child.
In this Instructable, I outline four different methods of visually preparing your child's person with your contact information for a lost child scenario:
1- Button pins that can be pinned onto clothing
2- Stickers that can be placed anywhere on the child
3- Lanyard tags that can be worn around the neck or adhered to clothing
4- Temporary tattoos located on child's arm.
Note: These four methods can be adapted to communicate other information such as an allergy list etc.
Step 1: Pins
I designed and printed bright-backed circular tags (I've included a JPEG template for your convenience. Just add in your own telephone number etc) to use on a 1.5 inch button maker.
After cutting out the tags, I placed them in my button maker, pressed down, and backed with the button maker's safety pin. They're now ready to be worn on the outer-most layer of your child's clothing
Step 2: Stickers
Easily visible and even easier to apply, vinyl (or paper) stickers can relate information while stuck onto just about any part of your child.
I designed a simple template with basic information and printed it onto vinyl sticker paper on a Roland Printer. However, this could easily be adaptable to any plain-faced sticker, such as name tags sticker labels, or even Avery address labels.
This method is ideal if your child does not like to have anything extra hanging off of them, as the sticker could be applied to the back of their outer layer of clothing, so they are unawares.
Step 3: Lanyard and Retractable Lanyard Tags
Lanyard tags are meant to be worn around the child's neck, and have a durable plastic sleeve that you can place your contact information into. This may not be ideal for small children, as it could be a choking hazard.
Retractable lanyards are small black discs that have a retractable wheel inside and a clip on the backside that are perfect for clipping onto clothing, such as a belt buckle. With the same/ similar plastic sleeve, as the neck lanyards. These are ideal for smaller children.
Either print out or hand write onto bright paper all the information you think necessary and fit into plastic sleeve.
Step 4: Temporary Tatoos
This method entails using the child's arm (or other easily visible area) to communicate information on how to contact you if the child becomes separated. Temporary tattoos, unlike the other methods I've outlined, cannot easily be removed by the child, unless they're quite the persistent type.
Using an eye liner pencil, write your contact information on the child's arm in neat writing. Then, using liquid bandages, paint over the written area and allow 5 minutes to dry. Now the writing is sealed in, and better yet, is waterproof! Depending on the brand you use, the liquid bandages will dissolve in 3 to 4 days. However, using baby oil or petroleum jelly could remove it instantly, if you wish.