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Old 03-06-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
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S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

What do you when you find a lost child - not your own, I mean?

Do you talk to her, ask her if she's ok? Offer to wait with her? Stay a short distance away from her and keep and eye out? Find security?

I have no idea what to do in these situations, so I usually hang back and try to keep an eye out for a parent, who usually comes running up in about a minute or so. My instinct is to show the kid my concern, but I'm frightened I'll frighten them, so I just try to discreetly keep watch.

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #2
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I saw a lost 2/3 yr old at magic mountain years ago. I only had one ds then and he was with me so I walked up, said hello and said I would sit with him until his parents came. I was uncomfortable moving him, even to the main office. He was quiet but not crying. We just talked about nothing until his mama ran up hysterical. Unfortunately, I know exactly how she felt in the moment, and she scooped him up swiftly and walked away, completely unaware I was there. That's okay though. I was so relived he was found and not upset but the situation.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:36 PM   #3
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Re: S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

I'd stand with the child and call the main office of the institution I was in. I'd ask for assistance from Security, but tell them that I was uncomfortable moving the child.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Re: S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

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Originally Posted by danner View Post
I'd stand with the child and call the main office of the institution I was in. I'd ask for assistance from Security, but tell them that I was uncomfortable moving the child.
This, because I instruct my kids not to move once they figure out they are lost. If they were old enough to know a phone number I would ask for that too to try to call the parents so they can find them faster.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #5
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Re: S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

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Originally Posted by s@hmommy View Post
If they were old enough to know a phone number I would ask for that too to try to call the parents so they can find them faster.
Yes, brilliant.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:44 PM   #6
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Re: S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

How often do you find a lost child? I would talk to the child and see if they know where mom or dad are, or whomever is in charge. If they do not, do not touch them but ask if they want to walk with you to find a security person or look around and find someone who works there.

I don't think you should tell your children to stay where they are if lost. You should tell them to go to a person who works at the place and is wearing a name tag and have them find you. That might entail moving to where they can find a phone or a loudspeaker. My kids are told that if they lose me, to look for a person wearing a name tag and ask them to have me paged.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:51 PM   #7
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Re: S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

I once nearly stepped on a lost toddler at Costco. I was there five seconds after it opened and I was perusing the clothing folded on the tables, and this little pig-tailed girl crawled out from under and sat on my foot. There was no one around so I knew she was lost. She was also fast so I couldn't really just watch her. But, I was really uncomfortable picking up anyone else's kid. I really, really didn't know what to do. I ended up picking her up because she kept running away, and held her high up over my head walking slowly towards the meat counters because I knew there would be workers there. Her mother saw me walking, her toddler bobbing up and down and ran over. I really thought she was going to freak out on me for picking her up, but she just grabbed her and said thank you.

Now that I have a very fast toddler I think of that often, because I don't know what I would want someone to do. In the moment that seemed right, but I have gone back and forth about if it was really the right thing to do.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: S/O what do you do when you find a lost child

I'd want them to stay put that way I can find them. Otherwise I'd have them have someone call me to come get them. I'd stay with a lost child until someone came looking for them and while there call the store and have the guardian paged.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:04 PM   #9
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Depends on the situation. Where am I? How old is the child etc

In all situations I get down to the child's level and try to talk to them. If they are responsive I offer help. In a store I would take them to customer service most likely or I may even wait with them to see if their parent returns.

I have unfortunately been in a situation where I had no choice but to pick up a strangers child. The child was about 2 we were at a spray park, I was walking in from the parking lot and this child came running out of the park towards traffic, she looked terrified so I bent down and she lunged into my arms. I waited, no adult ever came out of the park so I carried her back into the park and searched for her parent for 30mins before calling police. The girl fell asleep on me, the police arrived and then finally I noticed a woman scanning the crowd. I went over to her and she confirmed it was her daughter. Best part I was warned by the officer that I shouldn't go around picking up other people children as I could be charged. I told him I would rather be charged than hear about a missing/dead child on the news
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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I walked a 4 year old back home one day. We were at a local restaurant and saw a little boy walking down the highway. We live in a small town where everyone knows everyone. The restaurant owners went out and got him and nobody could decide what to do. We got enough out of him to figure out who he was and I knew his mom. The restaurant owners asked me to drive him home. I said I'm not putting him in my car but me and my 4 yo dd walked him two blocks back to his mom. If we lived in a larger town and didn't know the parents I would have probably had him wait at the restaurant and went and gotten the parents.
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