Few things are more scary for parents than looking up in a crowded place and realizing your child is no longer beside you. In these moments of panic, it’s hard to think straight. That’s why one mom made a TikTok video sharing her go-to method for finding a lost kid fast, so parents and caregivers can be prepared for anything.
How to ‘loudly look’ for a missing kid
“This is a video I think any parent, guardian, caregiver [and] anyone who is responsible for children should hear,” Jess Martini (@jesmartini), the TikTok mom, says. “If you’re ever out and about and your child goes missing in a public place — because remember, these things happen to even the very best parents — what you want to do is you want to start loudly looking. Do not start silently looking for your child.”
Martini says to start shouting out your child’s description, including:
- Hair color.
- Eye color.
- Description of clothes they’re wearing.
“It’s going to sound like this: ‘I am looking for a boy, age 6, brown hair, brown eyes, red Nike t-shirt, black shoes.’ And you’re going to repeat yourself over and over again,” Martini says. “This way you get all eyes looking for your child, and they know exactly what they’re looking for.”
Martini says this tip is effective not only because it makes it more likely that someone will spot your child and bring them back to you, but also because it could help deter anyone who may have been attempting to harm the child. “In the worst case scenario, if somebody was walking away them, they are much more likely to let them go because they don’t want that kind of commotion,” she explains.
Have other parents tried this?
This is not the first video Martini has made sharing this tip, and many people say it really works. In January 2021, a New Zealand mom mentioned the TikTok hack in the news after she successfully found her missing child at K-Mart using Martini’s advice. In the comments on Martini’s most recent video, dozens of other people also shared success stories.
“I went to Disney World in late March and a mom used this method to look for her missing son,” one person writes. “It worked!”
“This happened at Lowe’s last week,” another person adds. “The mom started shouting his info. The entire store fell silent. Mom’s voice was all you heard. We found that boy!”
Some people also point out that you can use this advice to help other parents in emergencies. “If a parent doesn’t know to do this and they panic, ask them what the child is wearing and you can help them shout it,” they write.
What else can you do to keep kids safe in crowds?
Many helpful parents and caregivers left comments sharing their own additional tips for keeping kids safe in crowds, which Martini spotlighted in a follow-up post. The safety tips from other caregivers include:
- Taking a family photo, head to toe, before entering a crowded place.
- Dressing kids in bright, bold colors.
- Dressing kids in matching outfits.
- Writing your own name and number on the child’s arm.
- If multiple adults are present, stationing one at the exit while you search.
Martini also says that whenever a kid goes missing, parents should alert the staff or personnel at the location as quickly as possible. Most businesses have protocols in place and can help you search for them.
Most importantly, she adds, don’t be afraid to do whatever it takes to alert the people around you.
“You may feel like you look silly or you’re going to be judged, and maybe you will,” Martini says. “But it is so much better to look silly than to be sorry, and I hope this helps.”