This is now done through MedicAlert, which is a registered charity that offers flexible subscription plans and financial assistance to those who need it. There is a small fee to subscribe.
Through the MedicAlert Connect Protect program, Emergency Communications Officers at Calgary 9-1-1 will have 24-hour direct access to every MedicAlert subscriber’s recent photo and personal information including identity, physical descriptions, condition descriptions, medical needs, wandering history, and behavior management strategies such as anxiety triggers and de-escalation techniques. The database also includes emergency contact information, allowing first responders to quickly contact a subscriber’s loved ones. IDs can take any form that works for the subscriber, including watches, jewelry, or even shoe tags. See https://medicalert.ca/
Dress children in bright-colored clothing so they can easily be spotted. Lemon yellow and lime green are the suggested colors because they easily attract the eye. You might also have a piece of clothing that is only worn when the child goes out in public so you can easily remember what they are wearing
Take a photo of your child with your phone before you leave home or when you arrive at your destination. This will help police find a lost child because they will be aware of exactly what the child is wearing, and how they look that day.
Discuss a designated place to go if you get lost or advise children to stay right where they are when they feel they are lost. Tell children to find a security officer, police officer or an employee if you are in a public place or remind them that they can ask another adult with kids for help.
Prepare your child so that they can identify themselves. For younger children, have their identification information in their pocket. If they able to speak and can relay the information, practice reciting your phone number with them, and let them know they can always call 911.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to prevent a child from wandering away from you when you are in a public place. Praise your child for staying close to you. Speak with your child about stranger danger and remind them of the importance of staying with you. Social stories can be effective ways to describe a situation and the appropriate social or behavioral responses for that situation.
What to do if your child is lost
If you are at home, search your house first before going outside. Check closets, laundry baskets and piles of clothes, in and under beds, in large appliances, in vehicles and other areas where the child may hide or play.
If you still can’t find the child in the home, call 911 to notify them and let them know if you feel the child is in any danger. Police departments would rather be aware of the situation and called back when the child is found, rather than wasting valuable minutes to find the child. Time is crucial once a child has been separated from you.
In the community- many public places have standard procedures of what to do when a child is missing, so call 911 to make sure authorities and the venue’s management are notified that the child is lost. Authorities will be able to help because they are familiar with the area’s surroundings and could have the capability to lockdown buildings or issue an alert.
Trax Play- https://traxfamily.com/
My Buddy Tag- https://mybuddytag.com/
(not an exhaustive list)
Calgary’s Child- https://www.calgaryschild.com/health-and-safety/safety/954-im-lost-how-to-prevent-and-handle-a-lost-child-situation