The worst fear of any mother is getting their kid lost at the mall. Big stores, especially on big sales days, are huge distractions even for hyper responsible moms. One second you’re looking for a price tag, the next your kid disappears in the crowd.
Not to scare but to inform you “about 800 000 young people go missing every year, claims National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the USA”.
We give you the expert advice on how to handle situations like this one. We’ll help you understand how to track a cell phone of your kid as well as give you tips on how to react to such a situation.
In 2016, about 466 000 NCIC cases were submitted to FBI. The most frequent reason is the child’s runaway. Happily, 99% of kids are usually found. Nevertheless, the issue needs your attention.
“The first thing you should do is to inform the shop’s security staff about the case”, says Nicky Rheeder, the national coordinator of Missing Children SA. The management of the mall has to lock or at least watch over the exits. Don’t forget to give a full description of your kid: clothes, shoes, hairstyle, etc. It might be extremely helpful when they follow people on camera recordings or even announce for the public.
It’s a common practice in the USA hospitals, once a kid is lost, they sound the alarms, close exits and nobody can go out until the kid is found.
By protocol, the shopping center’s staff informs the police so make sure to use this option.
As a parent, you need to do your best. Involve other people. Remember the itinerary you’ve already passed together in the center and think of possible places your kid might be stuck in. If on your way, there are toy shops or attractions for kids, go there first.
Keep in mind that if your kid took their phone, it’s much easier to track a cell phone. We’ll go on about how to track a cell phone a bit later in the article.
Ask the security guards to check men and women’s rest rooms. Find out what service in your country or city is responsible for finding missing kids.
The most efficient way to protect your kid from getting lost at the mall is to anticipate it. Nicky says that parents should work out a safety plan and talk with their kids about it.
Rules of thumb every parent should teach their kids:
- First, if your child is lost, they must go to the security personnel, inform them, and wait there for a mom or dad. Additionally, if the child took your phone (kids often play with parents’ phones while parents are shopping), call the support team of your device’s manufacturer to know “how can I find my phone”. Yep, there are a few ways to track a cell phone.
- Also, practice your plan. Play the situations or at least discuss periodically what children need to do first. If they are lost in a store, the perfect case scenario would be: your kid is heading to the front of a checkout line and informs the cashier that they are lost. Also, get your kid to wear an ID or alert bracelet. Besides, if your cell phone number is attached to their clothing (in case the kid took your phone) then trace a cell phone number and respectively your kid’s location. We’ll cover later in this post how to trace a cell phone number.
- Keep a photo of your kid in a wallet or in a cell phone.
- Teach your kid to react to strangers if they overstep their private space. It’s not a shame to shout loudly: “Where is my mom?” It’s about an unsafe feeling that is produced once a stranger approaches your kid’s, according to Robin Sax, spokeswoman for the National AMBER Alert Registry. So if a kid feels unsafe, they should immediately run away, ask for help, or even scream if necessary. And your task is to communicate the idea that it’s ok to do so if a stranger gives a feeling of unsafety.
By the way, people in this process happen to be especially helpful. The child security in most countries is a vigilant issue so lots of people engage in searching gladly.
- Teaching kids social skills like asking for help is primary. So in case of getting lost in a public place, your kid should approach a uniformed person and say: “I got lost. Help me find my mom or dad”. Just make sure to explain that only officers or mall’s stuff is safe to contact.
There are some malls whose personnel are trained for this particular cases. In America, for example, there is a program called Code Adam. Shops put Code Adam stickers to let parents and kids know that they can ask for help in case of emergency.
If you’re not sure you can handle a good shopping and supervising your kid, there are special entertaining rooms for kids whose parents are getting around at the mall.
The most efficient way to find your kid is simply to track their cell phone. Or, if your kid took yours, then you need to find out “How can I find my phone?”. In both cases, you trace a cell phone number.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Use apps (there are hundreds of them) that track mobile phones. You don’t have to call that person to know where they are.
- Use online services which track the phone number once you entered it. Then it finds the location of the phone’s owner.
To do all this stuff you need time. And you don’t have it because you need to find your kid as soon as possible.
It’s wiser to have an app which can identify your kid’s location immediately. mSpy claims to be extremely helpful in these situations.
In a moment when you figured out your kid got lost, you can use mSpy current GPS location tracker. You’ll see instantly the whereabouts on a map. Moreover, even if the traditional GPS is unavailable, you can still track your child’s cell phone and, thus, their present position.
If the mall is the place you used to shop in, put geofences around it. If your kid leaves its areas, at least you’re going to know that the situation got worse.
If your kid does not accept calls, you can view recent contacts they got in touch with. Also, if they used Wi-Fi somewhere in the mall’s café or shop, you can always track the place.
With mSpy tracking your kid’s position becomes much easier
If somehow during the search your kid lost a mobile phone, mSpy allows to wipe out all the data in it. It takes care of your personal data to prevent needless exposure and other risks of data divulgation.
mSpy – Know. Prevent. Protect.