June is National Safety Month, but no matter the season, if you’re planning a getaway with your family, creating a safety plan is as important as packing your suitcases.
Use the following information from Blue Ridge Public Safety to help keep your family safe:
- Make sure your children all know your cell phone number and your spouse’s (write it down for them if they are too young to remember, and remind them to keep it with them at all times). If they don’t have a phone themselves, show them places around your location (front desk, resort office, information center, etc.) where they can ask to use the phone if they lose you.
- Every day, and for each activity you are doing, review an “if we get separated” plan with each member of the family. For kids under ten, this should entail staying put until you find them. For older children, designate a meeting spot on the property.
- If you are traveling with more than one child, set up a buddy system so that your children will stick together.
- Don’t assume that there is a lifeguard on duty at a hotel pool or a lake, and never let your child stay in the water by themselves – no matter how strong a swimmer they are.
- In crowds, consider giving each family member a neon shirt or accessorizing with glow sticks so that everyone is easy to spot.
- Always travel with a recent photo of every member of the family. Better yet, take a phone pic each morning of your trip. That way you will have a picture of your child and what they’re wearing.
- Teach your younger children some cues on whom they can trust if they get lost or someone is bothering them. Police or Patrol Officers, other parents with small children in tow, and uniformed employees (particularly ones who are stationed in an office or at a desk and not just wandering around) are all generally safe bets.
Blue Ridge Public Safety Officers are trained to help adults and children who get separated from one another, and we know that many staff at common vacation destinations are as well. If you do notice your child is missing, report it to the proper authorities right away. Every minute counts, so don’t hesitate to get help because you think your child will turn up at any minute.