10 Ways to Prevent and Protect a Child from Wandering

A lost child represents a parent’s worst nightmare. Autism parents are especially prone to this, as kids on the spectrum have a tendency to wander. All it takes is 60 seconds, and your loved one can open the front door and start walking away from the house. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help prevent wandering and protect your child in case he does get away from adult supervision.

1. Spread the Word

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Especially in a school setting, inform everyone who has regular contact with your child that he has a tendency to wander. This way, your school’s teacher, therapist and counselor know to keep an extra eye out for him.

2. Add More Locks

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Add more locks to your home and improve the security features of your house. A deadbolt on all doors leading to the outside is a great way to prevent kids from getting out of the house, especially if it’s a deadbolt that requires a key on both sides. Everyone who comes in and out must remember to keep the doors locked at all times and know where the keys are located. Security systems or alarms that beep when doors and windows open can also alert you to possible breaches to the outside.

3. Swimming Lessons

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Swimming lessons are vital during a worst-case scenario if your child slips into a body of water (it’s very common for kids on the spectrum to be drawn to water and drown as a result). A great swim teacher specializes in teaching children with autism to swim with their clothes on to keep them safe in water.

4. Personal Identification

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Temporary tattoos or ID bracelets give first responders and search teams ways to identify your child in the event he cannot communicate verbally. Medical ID bracelets include your child’s name, address and phone numbers in case of an emergency.

5. Locator or Tracking Device

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Invest in a tracking device or locator. These high-tech systems use GPS trackers to hone in on someone’s location, and the software alerts you when your child goes outside of certain safe zones that you designate.

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