I think I blogged about this a couple years ago, but after an incident at a recent farmer’s market I’m motivated to address the topic again.
The other night a 9-year old boy did what 9-year olds do: he got bored and wandered off. Everything turned out fine. The market leadership responded quickly, set containment at the corners and had the parents call 911. Several of us began searching the market, but while I knew what the boy looked like (he’d been to my booth), not everyone else did. We had a description, but young blonde males in green t-shirts aren’t uncommon, and this particular boy looked old for his age.
My respectful suggestion? When you get to an event with your child take their picture. First and foremost you’ll have a lasting memory of a fun time. If your child does wander off then you’ll have an image that reflects not only their current age and appearance, but what they’re actually wearing that day! You can quickly text it to everyone who’s going to be looking for the child.
Child abductions are thankfully rare. Most disappearances are short-lived and result from honest confusion, perhaps salted with poor decision-making by the involved children. But pictures are free and can be deleted later if not needed. Better to have one and not need it, than need a picture and not have it.
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