Ahhhh. We’re back. We just visited one of the most magical places on earth and had a wonderful, exhausting, magical, hot (exhausting?) time. While I have tons to share on the journey, the most important in my mind at the moment is how we kept our sweet girl safe by following these child safety tips (and using GPS).
This post is sponsored by Jiobit*
I wouldn’t consider myself a free-range parent – meaning, I’m kinda helicoptery and nervous in crowded places with my kiddo.
She’s 5 so she’s at the age of “I can do it myself” meaning she wants to walk on her own, doesn’t always want to hold hands, and pretty much battles everything I ask her to do. So, when we decided to embark upon our 4-day Disneyworld journey, I knew we needed to develop a child safety plan.
WE GOT A REAL-TIME GPS TRACKER TO KICK THINGS OFF
I can’t tell you how much this itty-bitty little device saved our sanity and helped us enjoy our trip to Disney.
Jiobit is a GPS for your kid (or pet!). It connects to your phone and them, via a bite-size triangular clip-on device and tracks their every move (literally) in real time. No range or distance limitations – so you can take it on your in-state or global journey. It tracks inside and outside, using cellular, wi-fi, bluetooth and GPS.
While we had a child safety plan in place if we got separated (more on that below), I was thrilled to have this extra layer of protection, on the terrible off-chance that she was lost (or enticed) to leave the park. Disney parks are gigantic to begin with, so what I loved most about Jiobit was its ability to provide me a real-time map via the Guardian Mobile app on my phone, so that if we did get separated I could literally map myself to her location based upon her live actions.
All we had to do was attach the Jiobit Location Monitor to her clothing or shoes (they offer lots of accessories to make this easy peasy) and boom. Safety. Peace of Mind.
It’s not a one and done device, either. While it’s SUPER useful in Disney, crowded venues and while traveling, it can also provide so much peace of mind when you’re sending your kiddos off to camp, school, field trips, and other daily jaunts. At the end of the day, you get a full report of their whereabouts, departure and arrival notifications. We tested out what it would be like on her backpack – super discreet, barely noticeable.
While I’d recommend sticking it on their body somewhere, a backpack can be an alternate solution if they fight you on wearing it but you still want to keep track of their general whereabouts. Oh, and PS – it’s waterproof – so when you’re at the waterparks or at the hotel pool (ours was HUGE with lots of places a kiddo could get lost), you can attach it to their suit.
OTHER CHILD SAFETY TIPS
Other than purchasing a device to track your kiddos’ whereabouts, there are so many things you can do to drastically increase your chances of finding your kiddo FAST in the event you are separated from them:
Memorizing Names and Addresses. We have practiced (and practiced) with our daughter so she knows our real full names (first and last) and her address. While she may not be able to articulate any of it in the moment, if she’s speaking to someone for a little bit, they could totally get it out of her.
Affix Your Phone Number to their Clothing. You can easily write, tape or stitch your phone number into their clothing or on their body (bottom of a sneaker with a sharpie, covered in tape is a good place if you’re in a pinch). If you’re at Disney, their Magic Band will directly link to you and your contact info. AND, if you have Jiobit, you’ll know exactly where they are anyway.
Take a Photo of Them Each Morning. Every morning before you venture off, snap a pic on your phone so that if they are lost you can show it to the correct people (and shout it out in a crowd – see below for that handy-dandy tip).
Develop a Safety Plan. Make sure you have a plan in place that your kiddo understands – something straight forward and easy so that they know exactly what to do if they get lost.
OUR CHILD SAFETY PLAN – WHAT TO DO IF THERE’S SEPARATION
Besides our trusty little “secret triangle” (as my daughter called it), we took the time to develop and discuss (on repeat) a safety plan, on the off chance we were separated at any point in our travels. While it’s tough talking to your littles about something scary, it’s important for the entire family to know how to react if there’s separation. Here’s what we told her:
Stop and look. Even though she might be scared, stop, look for Mommy or Daddy (call out) and if you don’t see us, go to a safe place.
Define Safe Places. We defined a safe place as a business, park kiosk or restaurant. We told her to walk into the venue, find the cash register and tell the “worker” she’s lost. If she couldn’t find a safe place, she was to find a safe person.
Define Safe People. We defined a safe person as a Mama with kids. While a police officer would be the most ideal choice, the odds of finding one amid the insane crowds at Disney or any other crowded place are slim to none. But a Mama? With kids? She would know how to help.
Define Not So Safe People. Hopefully, you’re already having conversations with your kiddo about safe people and tricky people. If not, make sure they understand the concept. Just don’t overwhelm them right before you go. Keeping their list of safe people and not so safe people minimal will make memorizing what to do that much easier for them.
Memorize the Script. Come up with something super easy they say if they’re lost. “I’m lost. My Mommy’s name is….”. If they have a GPS or other contact info on their body somewhere, tell them they can reveal that to their Safe People. We were careful to explain to her that her GPS was a secret (especially if she came across a tricky person, so we could find her sooner) but okay to share with a safe person (so they could find us sooner).
SHARE YOUR SAFETY PLAN WITH EVERYONE TRAVELING WITH YOU
We had a safety brief with everyone who traveled with us. The cool thing about Jiobit is that you can invite Care Team members (Nanny, Pop-Pop, Teacher, etc) to download the app too.
So, if you are in a big place like Disney and your kiddo goes on a ride with someone you’re traveling with, you can ensure that while they are not with you they are in fact with someone you trust.
We had them download the app, invited them to be care team members and breathed a sigh of relief. We also told them our safety plan so they were aware of how to handle things if they were in charge and separation occurred.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DO GET LOST?
It can happen…to ANYONE. Kids are like little mice with the ability to sneak in and out of small places super easily. SO, if you find yourself in a huge crowd with a lost kiddo, stop and think. While panic will rise, the best way to find them quickly is to remember your safety plan and remain calm. If you have a Jiobit, grab your phone and track their location instantly.
Call their name. If they don’t get to you in a reasonable time (like, a minute or two), start yelling out their name and a description of their outfit (this will deter tricky people from moving forward with a plan to take them away from the venue) while you locate a safe person to help. If you have a Jiobit, this could drastically change the time it takes to find them. Make sure you share it with the people helping you. Make sure your kiddo knows to hide it from a tricky person.
You can purchase Jiobit for $129.99 and pay $8.99 per month for your data plan. This is their month-to-month option which allows you to suspend at any time without penalty (30 days of free service included!). While their goal is to keep your kiddos safe, they are also protecting YOUR privacy with government level encryption and compliance with online privacy laws like COPPA (designed to keep your kiddos personal data safe). The battery lasts up to one week, without the need to charge all the time.
We are so happy to have had this sidekick on our journey to Disney and can’t imagine it not being a part of our child safety plan for years to come! While we are SO happy we didn’t have to use it to locate a lost kiddo, we were so stoked to know it was there for us if we needed it.
*DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Jiobit. It is a combination of my personal insights, opinions and thoughts on various topics and products and may contain affiliate or referral links. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, which helps me continue on this fabulous journey of blogging! Full disclaimers avail. here.