A lost toddler is every parent’s worst fear. It can happen to anyone. Children are curious and unpredictable, and it’s too easy for them to wander off in seconds. When the parents realize they are gone, the immediate reaction is to start running through the store, scanning every section and corner. But there is a better way.
Blogger Jess Martini from the United States posted a TikTok in November with an incredible hack on how to find a lost child —and her advice is saving lives.
How to Find a Lost Toddler at a Store
Jess, the mother of three, warned parents to never ‘silently search’ for their missing kids. Instead, she used this hack when one of her sons went missing while shopping, and she managed to find him safely.
Jess begins her public service announcement by saying, “If your child ever goes missing in a public place… remember, these things happen to even the best parent. If you’re at an amusement park, zoo, mall, whatever it is, and you look around, and your child is no longer with you, what you want to do is to start loudly looking for them.
“Do not start silently looking for them. You want to look loudly, and what I mean by that is you start shouting their description while you look.”
She then gives an example with her son’s description. “It’s going to sound like this; ‘I’m looking for a boy, age five, short brown hair, brown eyes, Caucasian, red Nike T-shirt, black shorts.’ And you’re going to keep repeating yourself while you look over and over again.” 
She encourages parents to be loud about their lost toddler. “Now you’ve got every single person who’s around you looking for your child instead of just you, and best-case scenario somebody finds your child and they return them to you. Worst case scenario, someone was walking away with your child, they’re more likely to let them go because they don’t want that sort of commotion.”
“Better to Look Stupid Than Be Sorry”
Parents might feel a little silly to begin shouting like this, but it’s worth the embarrassment. “You may feel you look stupid doing it, and maybe you do, but it is so much better to look stupid than to be sorry.”
This might go against a person’s initial instinct, but remember, everyone else in the store knows how much danger a lost toddler could be in. Most people will try to help. Additionally, most stores have a protocol for lost kids, involving closing the doors to prevent an abductor from walking away with them. Shouting like this will allow the owners and cashiers to go on alert.