Avery wearing her safety braceletThis spring some girlfriends and I met up at the zoo. There were 4 adults and 7 kids. We were outnumbered and there were a LOT of people there that day. At one point, one of the kiddos got lost. Her mother was terrified. I stayed with the other six kiddos while the three moms went searching. It took about five minutes to find her, but it felt like forever. We were scared.

A week later I was at a busy indoor playground and I saw little boy in tears sobbing because he was lost. Security took him to the front and I could hear them asking him questions on what his Mom’s name was and what she looked like. The kid was too upset to talk, and he was only about 2.5 or 3 anyways.

It was at that moment I realized I needed to do something in case the lost child ended up being one of mine next time. So I found some of those event/party plastic wristbands (you can find them at Target or a party store) and used a permanent marker to write “My Mom’s Cell 612-555-5555” on them. And I use them faithfully – even when it’s my husband and I with the two kids – if it’s a busy place like the Mall of America (see the pic above) or the Zoo, my kids are wearing these bracelets.

Alex feels empowered by his bracelet. I always remind him about what to do if he gets lost or can’t find me. The answer is to find a worker (like a zookeeper!) or another Mommy and ask them to call his Mom’s cell phone and show them the bracelet. He’s very confident about it. We talk about how to identify Mommies (they have children with them) and not to go to Daddys (nothing personal, men, but women are the safer choice).

Of course I still watch my children very carefully, but I can breathe a little easier knowing they are branded with my info should we become separated. I always keep extra bracelets tucked into the diaper bag, and carry extra blank ones with a marker for my friends to use with their children if they want to do the same.

p.s. Okay, so this weekend at the zoo, I lost my oldest (4 year old) for about 45 seconds. My first thoughts were a) I’m glad he’s wearing his bracelet b) what if someone abducted him and c) crap – my cell phone is in the stroller – do I go back and get it or keep looking (I left it, along with my daughter, with my friend)? Happily, he came running up to me and was not nearly as stressed over it as I was. Scary? Yes. But I was glad he was wearing the bracelet and that he knows what to do if he’s lost.

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17 Responses to “Make your own safety ID bracelets”

  1. Maria says:

    That's a great idea! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. Amber says:

    That's a really good idea. Now that everyone has a cell phone all the time I guess it really simplifies things. I remember in my childhood when you would pretty regularly hear, "Would John Doe's parents please come to the information desk," over the mall loudspeaker.

    And you know what? I tell my kids to go to 'mommies' if they're lost, too.

  3. Monkeymama says:

    This is a neat idea Missy. I have often worried about the kids getting lost somewhere where it would be hard to find them again. And I've hesitated to get the tags with the child's name/address because it seems like too much info.

  4. Jessica says:

    Great idea! Yesterday at the fair we were talking to Isaiah about what to do if he got lost. He pointed out a couple mommies that looked like people he could trust. It's a good reminder to have these conversations and tools just in case…

  5. Anti-Supermom says:

    This is a fabulous idea. I've seen people post about temp. tattoos that you can write information on. This cheaper version is right up my alley,

    Thanks, Missy.

  6. Kristine says:

    I'm in! Smarty-pants!

  7. Becky says:

    Wow! Great idea! My biggest fear in life is my son getting abducted… wait then again this wouldn't help that but still! Good idea.

  8. Kelly's Ideas says:

    Great idea – now that my kids are older 11 and 13 – I make sure we have a location we meet up at if we separate and that they have a cell phone.. Losing sight of a kid is scary even at 13!

  9. Marketing Mama says:

    Thanks for the comments (and compliments!) everyone!

    Becky, I had thought of that, too. Of course this won't prevent someone from being abducted, however, I do believe that a child wearing a bright wristband marks them and gives a big BUG OFF warning to potential predators. It says "I'm being watched and my parents are on the ball." Or at least I'd like to think so! 🙂

  10. darcie says:

    Wow! What a FANTASTIC idea! I have worked really hard at teaching our almost 4 year old and almost 3 year old what their parents' first and last names are so that if something happened – they could say that their mom is DARCIE GUST instead of MOM but teaching them the cell # has been a challenge seeing as it's sooo many #'s – this is brilliant! simply brilliant!

  11. LutherLiz says:

    Missy I'm so glad that you share all your brilliant ideas with us! 🙂

  12. Amy says:

    Great Idea Missy! We went to the state fair yesterday, and although I wasn't on the ball enough to have wrist bands, I did mention it to my DH, who wrote both our names and phone numbers on a piece of paper to stick in the kids pockets – better than nothing!

  13. Marketing Mama says:

    Amy, putting the paper in their pockets is awesome!

    Before I found the bracelets, I was putting stickers on my kids backs with my number on it. But they kept falling off. My next attempt was putting paper in their pockets, just like you did! Then I landed on the bracelet idea, and it's perfect. 🙂

  14. themommarocks says:

    great idea for little ones; i must say that i don't agree about daddys – if a man is pushing a stroller with a couple of kids in it and is wearing a diaper bag, i think it's a safe bet he'd be happy to help another small child 🙂 the truth is, there are creeps out there, but the majority of people are not creeps IMHO. also, at county fairs we tell our kids to pick a vendor and stay with them and have the vendor call our cell phones. that has actually worked for us (9 year old got lost and managed to score some free funnel cakes while waiting for us at the funnel cake stand :-))

  15. Sunny says:

    This is really important when you are traveling… knowing your street and town in Mississippi won't help much when you are visiting in London… good for all ages! Who among us doesn't "freeze" trying to remember a familiar number when under stress?

  16. Shedding It & Getting It says:

    That's a great idea! I am a runner and might make these for my night time runs, just in case, you know?

  17. safetybeads_mom says:

    Hello, I recently read your post and wanted to let you I make a product that may help. I too am a concerned parent and would write my cell number on my son's arm. Probably not the safest thing to do. Then I got the idea to make something for a more permanent fix. I wanted something small that I could carry in my purse and give to my son whenever we were out and about. I call them Safety Beads. They are personalized beaded bracelets that kids really like to wear. Please check out my site, I would love your feedback 🙂



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