How Not to Lose Your Child at Crowded Events





Introduction: How Not to Lose Your Child at Crowded Events

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

This is Corvidae.  She's almost three.  As a toddler, she can navigate crowded areas easily and faster than an adult because she doesn't mind stepping into other people's space bubbles nor does she mind colliding with someone's legs at full speed.  At crowded events full of shiny objects fascinating to toddlers, this speed is a liability.  She can literally disappear into a crowd in the blink of an eye.  

At the 2012 San Mateo Maker Faire, I wrote my phone number on the back of her shirt, so when she did get away, the nice people running a booth about robots could give me a call.  Her shirt was a great conversation starter.  At every single place we stopped, another parent commented on her shirt and told me about the time they lost their kid.  



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    11 Discussions

    If I were you, I would censor the number from the picture...

    When our kids were little and we went to Disney Land we showed them which people they were allowed to talk to if they got lost (the park workers wear a uniform). Then we told them to lift their t-shirts and show their tummies, which had our cell phone number on it. That way no one can see the number unless the child gets lost.

    i used this the other day. I took my 4 kids to the boston children's museum on "free friay". it was super crowded. I put my cell # on labels, and stuck them to the back of my 2 year olds! they didn't get lost, although it was not for their lack of trying. :)

    this is more of a retrieval than a prevention device, but a cool idea nonetheless, there are plenty of pshychos out there, just warning you- not all people are that nice.

    Interesting, Eric, clever solution.

    I have thought it strange that no one has made ​​a small simple device that indicates the direction in which it is his "partner". It would be very useful for supermarkets, fairs, etc.. As I know almost nothing about electronics, I have no idea of ​​the difficulties and costs, but I guess something so should be very cheap.

    In this case you could attach the device into the clothing of your child, and have at hand the partner device to know permanently in wich direction your child is.

    An enterprising kid would have wrote over in crayon "If lost, get me ice cream first and then call my folks who I have outwitted and run away from..."

    A lot of UK events do wristbands to write numbers on (you know the adhesive kind that is often used as a theme park ticket?), but, until the boys were old enough to own their own phones, we used to use a marker pen and write my mobile number along their arms.

    I had 4 kids (now 4 adults) there's 4 yrs between the youngest 3, 2 toddlers and a stroller or 3 toddlers could make the simplest shopping a chore. Our fix were leashes attached to a belt, yes we got some odd looks and some not nice comments but that's a small price to pay for piece of mind at a fair or flea market or even a parade. the phone number is a good back up but a kidnapper isn't going to call you with good news........

    I like to dress them in a not so popular color. Never take your girls to a kid event in a pink shirt. All 2' tall brown hair girls in pink's like playing where's waldo.

    That's good and better then the tattoo my wife wouldn't let me do.

    Today an ankle GPS UPS tracker type module would still be more comforting.