DEAR ABBY: I am writing to pass on a simple idea that could save a lot of grief and heartache.
Like all parents, I make an extra effort to keep a close watch on our children whenever we are shopping or among crowds. However, even the most diligent among us has had an occasion when a child wandered off or got lost. There are no words to describe the panic a parent feels when this occurs. It is particularly true with preschool children who may be unable to articulate their parents' names, addresses or phone number -- especially under stressful conditions.
To minimize this trauma, I have begun putting my business card in our children's pockets before we go out. Each of them is instructed that it contains my name and to give it to a police officer or another responsible adult. I also explain that it will help the person find me sooner. Because they understand this, having the card helps them feel safer.
This does not substitute for careful observation of our children at all times, but if they do become lost, it provides additional information to ensure their swift and safe return. -- CONCERNED DAD IN BENICIA, CALIF.
DEAR CONCERNED DAD: An excellent idea and one that many parents would be wise to consider. However, it might be a good idea to put your home number on the card as well. Thanks for writing.