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This month we bring you:
- Wristband Safety for You & Your Kids
- Child Safety Tips for Wristbands
WRISTBBAND SAFETY FOR YOU & YOUR KIDS
Many parents are finding child safety wristbands to be a helpful addition to their personal child safety routines. The wristbands go around each child’s wrist and carry information that can be used by the person finding a wandering child to contact the parents. (Please see below for PKF’s recommendations on the information that should be on the wristband.)
Parents have reported using wristbands for all children in the following ways:
- “Special places” like going to theme parks, the state fair, or major event, or even for a whole 2 week vacation.
- School field trips.
- Every day activities, school, day care, trips to the grocery store or the mall.
- Trips to the park or the zoo.
- Halloween, July 4th fireworks displays.
For some children, parents may want safety wristbands on all the time. These can include children who are:
- Often wandering off.
- Getting caught up in the moment and forget to check with you before they head off somewhere.
- Fearful of speaking up.
- Afraid of strangers, even those who are there to help.
- Developmentally delayed.
- Hearing impaired.
- Have speech & communication difficulties.
- Have autism, apraxia, etc.
- Have special medical conditions.
- Comforted that they have some form of identification that can help reunite them with their parents should they become lost.
Wristbands may reassure you in knowing that the person who finds your wandering child has a way to contact you. You may also want to consider that kids can feel more secure knowing there is a way to contact their parents.
There are three types of wristbands on the market. One-time use wristbands are made of durable materials. These are often found at stores that sell labels. You have your choice of various colors or special designs that will delight children. Use a permanent waterproof marker to write your cell phone number on the bracelet before fitting it around your child’s wrist.
Reusable wristbands are often called Velcro bracelets. One parent commented that they can look like a watch, so they don’t really draw attention to themselves. There is a Velcro flap over a see through panel, with a form for you to write your cell phone information with a permanent waterproof marker. These wristbands come in colors that are attractive to kids.
The third type has a plastic saftey latch that can only be opened with both hands. These too come in fun colors & designs. There is a place on the outside of the band for you to write your phone numbers.
You can search for all three kinds of wristbands on the Internet using search terms such as: safety wristband, safety wristband for children, safety wristband for kids, children’s safety bracelets, child id bracelet. There are a number of vendors. Some are long established businesses that have a reputation for good service. Others offer attractive products for kids, but it may be questionable how long they’ve been in business and whether they will really deliver what you order. You also want to make sure the company is in the United States, or in your home country if you live outside the US. Otherwise you may find yourself with a very large shipping bill.
As a parent, you get to decide whether to try wristbands for your kids, and whether one time use, the Velcro wrist band, or the safety latch wristband is best for your circumstances. One parent suggested having a trial period at home so each child can get used to it, and you can then train them not to take it off. Or if one type isn’t compatible with your child, you can try the other.
You may want to introduce the idea of wristbands to your kids before you place it on their wrists. As always, we suggest talking in a positive confident tone in a manner appropriate for their age. Smaller children, who aren’t really aware or concerned about getting lost, may only need an introduction to the ideas of wearing a wristband. Older children may be introduced to the idea of being able to have someone call you if the need arises. It’s always a good idea to tell them how much you love them, and you will always be there for them.
WRISTBAND CHILD SAFETY TIPS
- On the wristband, only provide your phone number. Of course you can provide your spouse’s phone number as well. You can write: “Mom’s cell—800-587-4357” and “Dad’s cell--800-587-4357.”
- WARNING:. We recommend NOT writing any names on the wrist band. Child predators have been known to read the child’s name, then address the child as if they already know one another. This is one of the ways predators trick children into trusting them.
- If your child has a special medical condition that may be important information to add.
- As part of your daily activities, start reinforcing the messages in our Child Safety Kit. You can play the “What If” game when you go to the grocery store and help your kids easily pick out people they might go to for help if they can’t find you.
- You can also go over the rules on identifying improper adult behavior.
- Before you arrive at a location like a local fair or even the shopping mall, begin going over safety information.
- Once you arrive and are past the entrance, take the children aside and orient them as to where they are. Point out buildings, signs and decorations. Introduce them to a security guard. Show them the uniforms that employees wear. Empower your children to take care of themselves and encourage them to find you if you become separated. Remember to always tell your children how much you love them. They will remember your saying that to them.
- Many theme parks have designated lost children areas. Be sure to include the lost children areas in the orientation you give your kids. You may want to visit one with them, so they know where they might be taken if your family gets separated. These parks also have phone numbers for you to call if you need assistance finding your child. Check their websites so you can program the phone number into your cell phone.
Our free Child Safety Kit is sub-titled "How to teach abduction prevention without scaring your child (or yourself)" and includes 24 pages of guidance for parents.
FREE CHILD SAFETY KITS
If you live in the US, please click here for your Child Safety Kit.
If you live outside the US, please click here for your Child Safety Kit.
About Polly Klaas® Foundation
The Polly Klaas® Foundation helps find missing children, prevents children from going missing, and promotes laws like Amber Alert that help keep children safe.
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