Tips for parents with Children in Emergencies

dipat2005 Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭

One way of not losing your child is to write their name on the inside of their arm with arm sharpie and the pertinent information that goes with that child.

Another family uses a certain number sequence for their children in texting. The child is then directed to call home or whatever number the emergency number for that family.

A child can usually take a change of clothes in their backpack and possibly some dried fruit leather.

If a child can carry a bottle of water or know how to use a water filter that would be excellent.


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 6,009 admin

    I would amend this by saying to NOT put the child's name on their anything. Not their arm, nor clothing, nor backpack, etc. This is a safety thing in itself, as if an unscrupulous adult calls out/says the child's name, the child is more likely to trust & follow whatever that person has to say if they address them by name. It could be like..."Hey (Sarah/Ben), your mom said you can come with me" or something like that.

    Having said that, putting a phone number on their person is important. At one event we went to, they gave out little business card sized pieces of cardstock. On it was a place for the child's parent(s) phone number along with the message of "If I am lost, please call this number). The child was to put this in a pocket and the parent was to tell them what it is for.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 910 ✭✭✭✭

    Teaching children emergency skills can be a game changer if the unexpected happens. Survival skills are a regular lesson growing up for my kids. My two youngest kids (3 and 4 years old) can and do carry a small pack and both know how to use a personal water filter. They also each have their own flashlight. They know that they can use that flashlight to help someone find them if we were to be separated after dark.

    When my older kids were around the ages of 8 or 9 we taught them how to safely start and maintain a fire for warmth and for cooking.

    I like the card idea. My little boys love to have "important" things in their pockets.

  • karon
    karon Posts: 9 ✭✭✭

    I recall hearing two things from John Walsh that stuck with me; as you may remember his son Adam was kidnapped and later found dead.

    1). He said he had taught his son to pay attention to landmarks on outings so he'd have an idea of where he was/how to get back. An excellent skill especially needed to be taught now that everyone is zoned out listening to earbuds or looking at cell phones.

    2) He neglected to teach his child that in the event of someone trying to take him...not to just scream/fight/cry but to yell out. something like ' YOUR NOT MY DADDY - I DON'T BELONG WITH YOU'. If a child is crying or fighting onlookers think it's a kid having a meltdown but if they make such a statement people will stop and pay attention. Kind of like if you're being attacked don't just scream but yell 'FIRE' and people will pay better attention.

    Other basics...

    as Laurie mentioned NEVER put a Childs name on their clothing/backpack for exactly the reasons she mentioned. If they are on a team with an outfit that requires a name on it, have them change or put that shirt over another once they are at the venue and remove it before leaving.

    Don't forget 'hug a tree' as in don't keep wandering and get more lost, find a safe place to sit and wait to be found or find an officer or a parent with a stroller to ask for assistance.

    Another thing for a. pocket is a good whistle since the sound will carry in the woods or draw attention for a further distance. A small non breakable mirror is also handy. Teach them to blow the whistle occasionally so their parents/searchers can follow the sound and how to use the mirror to reflect the sun. Not sure if these items would also help scare wild animals away, but sure worth a try.

    And last but not least...never go alone, always take a friend and stay together.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you all for commenting ! I love all the ideas. I hope more people will give ideas too!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 6,009 admin

    @karon Excellent advice!

    There is a special whistle that has sound that carries called a Fox 40. If our kids are riding the horse farther from home, it is part of their pack, along with a mylar blanket, a small first aid kit and such. Our kids, once old enough, carry a knife & some have a multi-tool. I'd love to get a good compass or two and all learn to use it & have it included in the pack.

    The kids are also to leave a plan with us, have a photocopy and not deviate from their plan. They also have a time of departure and approximate time of arrival written down.

    Knowing landmarks is an excellent idea. Both my husband and I naturally do this, but do discuss sense of direction (and how it can get mixed up at times) and observing what is around you. Hug a tree is good advice.

    I am trying to teach basic local foraging skills as well...what is edible, what is not, what is medicinal & how to use it properly. @torey that could be a great thing to assemble together is a basic list like that for hiking/if one gets lost. For you have a simple list for others by chance? That could make a great addition to the safety programs or a good thing to sell as a small brochure/laminated card. @Merin Porter

    A great program for kids learning survival safety in Canada is:

    I'm not sure of similar programs in other countries, but it would be earth listing them in this discussion as well.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,403 admin

    These are all great suggestions.

    We have had a similar rule in my house @LaurieLovesLearning, since my kids were very young. No one leaves without leaving a note behind as to where they will be and what time to expect them home. Even now if I am not home when my husband goes out for wood or hunting, he always leaves a note.

    Very young children can start to learn the basics of survival and how to use tools (scissors, knives, axes, fire starters, etc.) properly and safely. My daughters never cut themselves, when they were learning or afterwards. They always had a small pack when they were going hiking or biking with first aid items, some sort of extra snack items (granola bars, fruit leathers, packs of nuts, etc.), matches (or a lighter), foil blanket and a compass. I'm sure if you checked the glove box of their trucks today you would find a multi-tool and flint as well as the other items. They both wound up using their compass skills working as timber cruisers, able to do a better job with their compasses than with the GPS. Both carry full Level 3 first aid kits. So prepared kids become prepared adults.

    The TGN Paracord Survival Bracelet is a good one for kids to have in their packs, both for hiking and for emergency situations (evacuations or shelter-in-place).

    Maybe there should be a TGN Survival pack for kids. With a few of the basics to get started and a list of other suggestions that parents and kids might want to add.

    I found these two books on Amazon. This isn't a recommendation for either, as I haven't seen them in person but ideas for you to check out and possibly purchase to help the discussions with your kids.

    These next sites are more about preparing kids for disasters.

    This is a US government site with with resources for preparing kids, teens and families.

    This is from Red Cross.

    These next ones are from the BC provincial government, Masters of Disaster program: Planning booklet. Home Emergency Plan.

    @Merin Porter You can PM me if you would like something like Laurie has mentioned.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 6,009 admin

    @torey @Merin Porter I second a TGN survival pack for kids! Awesome idea!

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 910 ✭✭✭✭

    A survival pack specifically geared towards kids is a great idea. All of my kids have one. We "built" them ourselves. There wasn't really any good pre-made kit out there when we were looking. As the kids grew and developed more skills we added things.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭

    Awesome ideas and posts. I like the idea of a survival kit for kids. It is great that you as parents are teaching your children to survive in any situation. I especially like leaving the notes. I live alone but I do like to know when my kids go on vacations.

  • water2world
    water2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 790 ✭✭✭✭

    There are a lot of good ideas posted here. As a note to the whistle, my children had one they wore on a coiled bracelet-----always ready to use!

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 910 ✭✭✭✭

    We found a really cool flashlight for our little guys. It has a normal flashlight with a strobe setting and multiple brightness settings. The handle has an led in it that makes it look like a glow stick. It has a lanyard so it can hang on there neck and the end is an emergency whistle. They know how to us the different setting and when. They wear them whenever we go out in the woods or for a day hike.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 978 admin

    Some great ideas here! I will pass along the idea of a kids' survival kit to the team.... Thank you!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 6,009 admin
    edited June 28

    @Michelle D Are you able to share an online link for the flashlight?

    @Merin Porter I think it would be a popular product. I think a junior/kids gardening and a simple junior/kids backyard foraging kit would be too. Parents & Grandparents alike would get these for kids.

    BTW, are you able to carry Botany in a Day playing cards (that might be a good addition to a kids foraging kit)? I was able to buy the book here, but can't get the cards. ☹️

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 910 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning we purchased the flashlights at a local store but I did some looking and this one on Amazon looks like it is about the same thing.

    Life Gear Blue LED Glow Stick & Flashlight with Whistle & Lanyard (LG116)

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,403 admin

    @Michelle D Those are pretty cool flashlights for kids. That's a long life span for the batteries, too.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 6,009 admin

    @Michelle D I think our kids would kill the batteries pretty quickly with those. They look fun.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,032 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 6

    One thing my parents taught us was a "safe word" a word our family knew and no one else. Then should anything ever happen and another adult was to come to find us and want us to go with them we would have to wait for them to tell us the "safe word". Only then would we know that our parents sent them to find us and it was safe to go with them.

    My kids are taking a self-defense course through our homeschool group. The gentlemen's teaching has taught them that if they were to be abducted how to behave. So to go along with what you mentioned @karon,

    he said to fall to the ground, kicking and screaming to get attention. So at that time would be a good time to yell "You're not my daddy/mommy!" He also mentions using anything around you to help you get away from them and don't be afraid to hurt them if they're trying to hurt you. He used this story as an example. He was walking and a woman was behaving strangely. He was carrying his coffee mug. He untwisted the lid and had the hot coffee ready should he need to throw it at her along with the lid. His preface was that just about anything can kill you if used properly, therefore anything can be used to help protect yourself. 😊

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