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Child went missing in 99p store

(249 Posts)
PassionateaboutParenting Fri 04-Jan-13 18:01:16

My 2 year old son went missing in a 99p store on the High street in Leytonstone. I turned to pay for the items I bought and my son disappeared within those seconds.I called for my son and looked through the isles for him, my 6&4 year olds were with me. I asked the security guard to shut the door, he refused. Instead he told me that I should hold my child's hand.
The last thind I needed in my sheer panic at the thought of having lost my son was to be judged so harshly. None of the staff tried to assist me and just proceeded as usual, and it took another customer to search for my child and bring him to me.
People were awful either pretending not to notice or otherwise passing nasty remarks. I want to start a campaign to create a child safe scheme in my area. Has anyone else done this?
I have complained to the 99p store bit not sure if they will respond. Has anyone heard of the Code Adam in the USA?

PandaOnAPushBike Fri 04-Jan-13 18:05:25

What a nightmare. I know you must have been out of your mind with worry. What is wrong with people these days. A similar thing happened with my daughter 17 years ago in Clarks. Instantly everyone, staff and customers alike were looking for her. She was found in the toy shop next door.

I have 2 of these for my younger two, thankfully I haven't had the need for them yet but they are great for instances such as yours.

perceptionreality Fri 04-Jan-13 18:08:07

Poor you, OP sad I agree - how unfair that you were judged that way, so much for the bloody big society eh? It's impossible to hold onto a child constantly - my 3 year old flatly refuses to do this. I'm very glad you found him.

minibmw2010 Fri 04-Jan-13 18:08:24

Glad you found him but what did you think would happen when you let go? My DS (19 mths) is a bolter so I have to use reins.

Imnotaslimjim Fri 04-Jan-13 18:08:36

I've had similar in a Home Bargains. DD wandered off, was shouting her and asking staff for help and they all ignored me. She was missing for nearly 15 mins, and it was a member of the public that found her

Haven't head of code adam, so can't comment on it

5alive4life Fri 04-Jan-13 18:09:49

you must have felt so worried!! i live in newham and know that 99p shop well. i used to work in retail im canada....we had a code adam happen once in thw shop and we were not allowed to close or lock the doors just to look around for the child. luckily he turned up in the shop next door.

SecretSquirrels Fri 04-Jan-13 18:10:34

Anyone who has ever taken a wriggly 2 year old to a shop will know it can happen to anyone.
I remember shopping with a friend when we both had toddlers. Her 5 year old DS slipped away and . Staff all rushed to help and found him hiding under a display.
The panic you feel when your child gets lost like this is horrible.
The store response was wrong.

stormforce10 Fri 04-Jan-13 18:11:09

YANBU they should have reacted better than that. If he wouldn't lock the doors the least they could have offered was to have someone watch to make sure no unaccomanpanied toddlers left.

I lost DD in M&S at a similar age and the staff were fantastic. They found her within a few minutes 2 floors up shock. It finally transpired I'd turned my back for a few seconds and she'd run into the lift. Luckily a lady had realised when they got out no one was with her and started trying to find a member of staff by which time I was in panic overdrive 2 floors below.

Its an awful feeling but it can happen to anyone and maybe one day the security guard will realise that and remember how he wouldn't help you.

I am glad you found him quickly

5alive4life Fri 04-Jan-13 18:11:24

btw those who have not heard of code adam,google adam walsh. he was a young boy taken by someone in a sears department store whilst his mum shopped.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 04-Jan-13 18:12:32

I'm shocked that no staff tried to help! When I was working in shops children often went walkabout and even at our most busy, short staffed times we always made every effort to to look for them.

I haven't heard of Code Adam but I'm guessing its to do with Adam Walsh? Quick google confirms it. I think it's a good idea to have some kind of specific procedure in place for things like this. Think many shops have their own but be good it if was universal.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 18:12:48

They should have helped but please get something like a little life backpack to stop this happening again.

Kalisi Fri 04-Jan-13 18:13:41

I would have been fuming! I wouldn't dream of ignoring someone who had lost a small child especially at work where you can take more control over the situation.

SunflowersSmile Fri 04-Jan-13 18:13:46

Happened to me with slightly older child in BHS -twice blush and Tesco. Both were brilliant and non judgemental [to my face anyway!].

feetlkeblocksofice Fri 04-Jan-13 18:16:57

I had this in homebase when DD was 2 1/2. I'd gone to kwiksave, DD was with exp in homebase when I finished and got there the doors were already shut and the whole shop was looking for and her police called etc.

She was eventually found in the warehouse by a lovely young man who turned green when I explained that that wasn't mud on her hands but poo shock.

She said she went for a wee and poo in the stones why she couldn't have used one of the display toilets like other children I do not know wink

They were fabulous couldn't fault them, only exp who paid dearly for letting her hand go to look at crap stuff.

FredFredGeorge Fri 04-Jan-13 18:23:10

Your children are your responsibility, you are not entitled to help, so sorry YABU. Perhaps the store could've assisted you more, but you are wrong to expect the shop to make huge allowances for your inattention.

happybubblebrain Fri 04-Jan-13 18:24:22

A similar thing happened to me in a local supermarket a few years ago when my daughter was 4. She would never hold my hand. And it's really hard watching them every second when you are trying to find your shopping. It was only a small store, but I was scared she might have wandered out the front door so I went straight there and asked the security guard if he'd seen a small child. He said "you're supposed to be looking after her. You've upset the other customers" and made me feel like the worst parent in the world. I found her within a minute or two. But I was really cross with the security guard. Instead of trying to help me find her he just made me feel awful.

Some people are not nice, it's a sad fact of life.
Glad you found him quickly.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 18:25:00

Huge allowances? Really? She was asking for security to ensure she didn't get out and people to help look. Is that really a big ask?

PassionateaboutParenting Fri 04-Jan-13 18:26:10

This is shocking it happens to so many parents. How do we change stores's policies though?

LittleBoSqueak Fri 04-Jan-13 18:26:54


What a perfect parent you must be!! Your post disgusted me.

Abra1d Fri 04-Jan-13 18:26:59

Wow, FredFred, that was uncalled for. OP, we once lost my son, then seven, in a museum in Central London. In a moment of inattention he had followed another group out of an exhibition area.

The security people were brilliant and locked the doors for us without us asking and kept us calm. Shame that other people aren't as sympathetic.

JamieandtheMagiTorch Fri 04-Jan-13 18:27:48

Huge allowances?

A little common decency, more like.

happybubblebrain Fri 04-Jan-13 18:28:13

FredFredGeorge - the store should have assisted more, that would have been the right thing to do. The world would be a much better place if we were all looking out for each other and being helpful when we can, especially regarding children.

perceptionreality Fri 04-Jan-13 18:28:49

I totally disagree FredFredGeorge - if a child goes missing it's everyone's moral responsibility to help find them. And what kind of person says 'I don't care, not my responsibility', frankly?

houseelfdobby Fri 04-Jan-13 18:31:17

I had a friend whose 2 yo went missing in a big IKEA store. They closed down the whole store in a very busy period (must have cost a fortune). He turned up two hours of sheer panic later - asleep in a cupboard (!) My friend was soooooo embarrassed (and so very pleased).

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