Unless you’ve been hiding out under a rock for the last week you’ve probably seen the story about the day Jake went missing at the beach? It’s gone viral with over 1.5 million hits!
It was quite simply the most horrifying experience of my life and I still want to cry when I think about it, but the lesson we took from it could help save another child so I am happy to share.
It only took a split second and he was gone.
The way the army cadets responded was brilliant and I would never have thought of doing that myself. If you’ve got kids you need to read it.
But the key learning here is this. If you lose your child in a busy place, don’t run around shouting their name. Shout their description.
I’m pretty certain the words “We’re looking for a boy. He’s 4 years old, blonde and in a red t-shirt” are the reason he was found safely, despite him going off with the man “to see a real rocket ship”!
Despite this scary experience we haven’t let it hold us back. In fact, if anything it spurred us on! If something so scary can happen in our own home country, we may as well travel the world and make the most of what life has to offer us.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Kids?
What happened that day happened in a split second. I had barely taken my eyes off him for a second and then he was gone. That’s what scared me most. I had been watching him. He was right by me.
There are things you can do to help keep your kids safe.
1: Get a GPS Tracker Watch
I wish we’d had one. The best ones look just like a kids watch like this one below, so there’s little risk of it being recognised and taken off them.
2: Have The Stranger Danger Talk, Regularly
We clearly had not done it enough! We had discussed strangers and not to go with them, but clearly not often enough and not with enough emphasis! All it took was the offer of a real rocket ship…
3: Teach Your Child To Shout
What should they do if they are taken? Shout loud and fight hard. In self defence classes I was taught that the chances of escape are highest at the point of abduction. Tell them to shout “Stranger!” loudly and repeatedly. And tell them to fight dirty. Eyes, throat, knees and balls. Scratch and bite – whatever it takes.
Hopefully it will never come to that but just in case…
Here’s Jake with some of the awesome people who found him, helping him to calm down and enjoy the rest of the day 🙂