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knottygirl

5 year old wandered off at shops

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VVV

OP hugs. How absolutely terrifying for you. I wish you got more assistance in your time of need.

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knottygirl

Oh OP how horrible for you.

 

When I worked retail (very early 2000s) we had a very specific protocol for if kids went missing. I left that job over 15yrs ago but remember the code was to call manager "adam" for a missing boy and manager "eve" for missing girl over the pa so *all* staff knew.

Then 2 managers (store manager and the floor manager on shift) would go to the entrance of the store with the parent to ensure the child didn't leave with someone else. While another (I can't remember which position) was responsible for calling centre management/security. It worked great the few time we had missing children. (It wasn't a "small" shop so we had the luxury of multiple staff around. But at the same time it was made clear to us the process to follow should the situation arise)

 

Really sorry your experience played out the way it did. I can't imagine how scary it would've been for you both.

 

It was very scary for both us. She thought that I’d left without her.

 

We have been working on learning my phone number so that if this happens again she can give them my number to call me. She said the lady asked her name, and my name, which she knows, and asked for my phone number, which she didn’t know.

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knottygirl

OP hugs. How absolutely terrifying for you. I wish you got more assistance in your time of need.

 

Thank you. It was scary how helpless I felt.

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Prancer is coming

I have had more experience than I would like with missing kids and mr 6 went missing at a huge market last year and I reckon it took at least 20 minutes to find him. I just kept searching and lucky DH had arranged a meeting place. It literally took 1 second for him to disappear and I have no idea how a market could be coordinated to try and find him.

 

If I did not have protocols in place where I worked, I actually think I would rely on the patents telling me what they needed. There are differing degrees of being lost and are the parents at the stage of just realising they are missing and having a look around the store and enquiring if the kid had been seen, versus parents having had a search and needing assistance to locate child.

 

It is really stressful when someone goes missing but I tend to assume the bulk of the responsibility and try and put more things in place in hope of avoiding future incidents....

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Veritas Vinum Arte

My kids all have shoe dot labels inside all of their shoes. It includes their name and my mobile number. When the kids were really young I told them if they lost me to take off their shoe and ask another mum with young kids or storekeeper to phone the number. DS2 did not remember that when he got lost, so I had to redrill it into the kids.... it worked too well as teacher was wanting my mobile number and child took their shoe off to provide it..., despite knowing the number off by heart then.

 

 

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Cheesy Sanga

I'm sorry you both had a scary few minutes. I'm glad everyone is ok.

 

I'd be contacting both the store management and the centre management to clarify what their procedures are.

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knottygirl

I'm sorry you both had a scary few minutes. I'm glad everyone is ok.

 

I'd be contacting both the store management and the centre management to clarify what their procedures are.

 

I have contacted the store management already. But yes I will also contact centre management. I did try to phone them and because it was a public holiday no one answered. I had raced to a big info desk with a huge I on it but they were just selling theme park tickets and gave me vague directions to the real information desk which seemed some distance away. That was when I googled centre management and phoned the number and got answering machine.

 

It was longer than a few minutes. I reckon it was about 15 altogether that she was lost for. It felt like hours though.

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Sincerely

A missing child that age is a terrifying experience.

When DS started kindergarten, the arrangements were that I picked him up twice a week and he attended afterschool care (offsite) on the other days. Not long after commencing, a day after the school had issued a red alert stranger danger note about a man seen lurking outside the school fence, I arrived at school to pick up DS and there was no sign of him. The teachers supervising bus bay insisted that he had not boarded the OOSH mini bus and he 'must be in the toilet'. I checked the toilets, his classroom, front office & sick bay. By the time I was searching the playground areas, I was calling (well, yelling) his name frantically (I kept thinking about the stranger danger alert the school had just issued). A few staff and parents were around but no one offered to help. Although I don't remember this part very clearly, I thought they were a bit perturbed by my yelling even when I explained DS was missing.

 

Eventually, someone came out of the front office and said that the OOSH centre had phoned to say that when they did a roll call (after the kids had settled in their allocated rooms), they realised DS was not on the day's attendance list.

 

I suspect these days with increasingly more formal standardised policies & procedures and everyone having designated roles & responsibilities, people are less accustomed to stepping outside the square.

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Ellie bean

How terrifying, I’m so glad she’s okay OP. I’m shocked the shop didn’t help.

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BECZ

I’m sorry you had such lack of assistance. It’s horrible enough with very helpful people.

 

DS1 got lost in a very similar situation. I was shopping with DS (2 years) and a newborn DD2. I was in a small clothing store and there was a ride-on toy out the front of the shop next door. I saw him go out, but there were already kids on it so he was looking through the glass panels over the escalators, to the floor below.

As I was walking out to get him, two ladies coming the other way stopped and stood right in the middle of the aisle. I went back around the other way so that I could get out of the store (I had a large pram). I had an arm full of clothes that I was about to try on as my body had changed after recently having a baby, so just shoved them on a general rack on my way out and when I finally got out of there, DS was nowhere to be seen. There was a play area nearby, so I checked that and came back and asked the ladies in the store if they had seen him. They instantly rang centre management for me, gave a full description of him and what he was wearing and within a few minutes (which felt like forever!) they rang back and said that they had found him. They said to stay there and they would bring him down to me. About 5 minutes had passed and two security guards came down, without DS. They told me that they think that they have the wrong child, maybe it’s another missing child! I had to go back with them to centre management and check. As we got there, one of the security guards said to one of the ladies there, “He doesn’t look Asian!” Sure enough it was DS and he is half S. Korean, but had very slight features back then. If only they had told me why they were questioning it, I wouldn’t have had to go through that horrible feeling for a second time!

 

We had recently moved, so he wasn’t familiar with this shopping centre and there were just so many exits nearby. He had been there a few times as he had occasionally been house hunting with us and we’d stopped to do a bit of shopping there, but had he gone missing at our old shopping centre, I would not have been as concerned as I could guess the few places that he may have headed. He had never wandered off before.

 

I later ran into the lovely woman who found him and took him to centre management, in the parents room. I was in there feeding DD2 and DS stuck his head out and they recognised him.

 

She found him all of about 20 metres away at the top of the escalators looking lost.

 

When I worked in retail, we typically found the lost child before the parents had noticed them missing. We always made an announcement over the P.A. and stayed with the child until their parents were found. If a child was missing, we still made an announcement over the P.A., giving a brief description and asked that if anybody saw that child, could they please bring them to the service desk. We would also send a couple of staff outside to check and also check with the shops below and the other shops close by. I get that smaller stores do have the staff to do things like help look outside, but they could have been a lot more helpful by the sounds of it OP.

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GlitteryElfFarts

My DS#1 got lost whilst shopping with mum when he was about 3 almost 4. When security found him an put a description out over the PA, mum went to him and when she asked why he hadn’t told them his name or phone number(he knew both). He told mum that we had told him not to talk to strangers, so he couldn’t tell them. So we had to go over stranger danger again.

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knottygirl

I like the idea of phone number in the shoe. I do have some of the shoe dots with my phone in already actually, but they have ds name on. The ones I got for dd just have her name only.

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Veritas Vinum Arte

My kids shoes still have shoe dots with my number despite them being grades 4/6/8 now. They still work, especially when DS2 left his sports bag on train..... we seem to get it back same afternoon.

 

 

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