A mobile phone can really help keep your kids safe during London 2012, as it offers them a way to get help quickly if they need it. They can ring the emergency services if they get into trouble and can call you or other family members if they get separated from everyone. If they wander off and get hurt, it also offers passers-by a way of contacting you. By adding the letters ICE (In Case of Emergency) by your name and number in the mobile phone book, members of the public will know who to call if something happens.
We normally teach our kids not to talk to strangers, but there are times when they may need to ask for help, especially if they become separated from you. Security guards, London 2012 volunteers and staff will all be able to assist a lost child, but your kids need to know who they should go to. At the beginning of your day, point out people who are safe to approach and draw attention to official uniforms and outfits. Your children will then know who is safe to speak to.
Make sure you have a plan, in case anyone does get lost, and a pre-arranged meeting place where you can be reunited. There will be an information centre at each Olympic venue and these make great places for lost children to wait for their parents. Most information centres will be in the form of a tent, marquee or temporary building and will have a tannoy system so lost kids can be announced to the public.
The most important thing for your child to remember is that they should stay with you. If they want to go somewhere without you, they should ask before they disappear and you should always make sure you know where they are going before they leave. Smaller children should hold your hand and be watched constantly as they won’t realise it is dangerous to wander off.
Although at first you may think this means more work for you, allowing your children to invite a friend may actually make things easier. Children, however old they are, should not be allowed to wander off on their own in large crowds. However, if they have a friend to accompany them it is safer and allows them some independence. If you are happy for your kids to walk around with a friend, set ground rules and have a plan in case they get separated from each other.
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