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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?

grumpyinthemorning Wed 09-Jan-13 16:47:23

I've never lost a child, but I remember being in the local shopping centre once before I had kids, and coming across a little boy, couldn't have been more than 4 or 5, crying his eyes out and calling for his mummy. People were just walking past, ignoring him, so I stopped and got him calmed down enough to take him to the information desk. They announced over the pa and a few minutes later his mum turned up, absolutely frantic. She kept thanking me, but I honestly believe that it's the right thing to do. I couldn't bear to leave a lost child standing there alone, crying.

Pearchild Wed 09-Jan-13 16:10:33

Hello orangepudding. I know the feeling! The suggestion is you would store the number into you mobile as a favourite, so for most modern phones you will only need to press one key to activate.

And one of the benefits, is that the moment you activate you are asking all others to help you.

Pearchild Wed 09-Jan-13 16:07:51

Hi Piglet, not dumb at all. Yes, when you register the device, you will do so through the website.

orangepudding Wed 09-Jan-13 16:04:37

Pearchild, sounds good in principle but on the occasions I have lost a child I panic and look / ask others to help me look for the child.
I wouldn't be calm enough to key anything into my mobile.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 16:01:56

Thanks pear child, it does. Sorry for being dumb but do you activate it through your website or by toying a pin number on your mobile

Pearchild Wed 09-Jan-13 15:58:24

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 15:48:27

I know Arthur the website des not give much information on the products, what they do, what they are. Pear child. You need more detailed information on your products

Arthurfowlersallotment Wed 09-Jan-13 15:39:16

Umm, I've had a read of your website and I haven't a clue what it is..

Pearchild Wed 09-Jan-13 15:35:27

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JustFabulous Sat 05-Jan-13 12:36:12

We have just come back from the shopping centre I lost DS2 in 2 years ago and having been reading this thread I wouldn't let him out of my sight and just felt anxious the whole time. I think the panic comes from not knowing how long it is going to be before you find them again. Or even if you will. I am in a weird mood atm so it hasn't helped. I am staying in for the rest of the day now and DH has taken DS2 to get DS1 and DD from PIL.

MuddlingMackem Sat 05-Jan-13 12:35:12

MammaTJ Sat 05-Jan-13 04:24:40

>>>> Muddling the beach (five minute bus ride away) is the one place I know where my DD age 7 is. She loves the water and DS loves the sand, so as long as I am a little away from the sea and facing it I can see them both. It is far more relaxing than shops with her. <<<<

The day I was there it was too busy to sit close to the water or to see the kids easily, but then it was a roasting day. grin Maybe if I go on a day it's less warm and less busy it wouldn't be as stressful. smile DS was a bolter so, until he was about 4 or 5, particularly once I had DD as well, I would mostly only take him places if I met up with at least one friend so that I wasn't the only adult.

BlueberryHill Sat 05-Jan-13 12:24:24

I think most people are really helpful, shocked at some of the examples here in shops and restaurants where people haven't been. We have lost DS1 twice and they have both been heartstopping moments. We were going to the playground on a holiday site, he was just ahead of us, but when we got there we couldn't find him. DH legged it backwards to trace our steps shouting his name, everyone stopped what they were doing and started to look. DS1 had thought that we were going to the car, luckily all the talks had sunk in and he stayed where he was and shouted back when he heard DH. I have tears now writing about it and he was in no danger, I just remember the emotions when he did disappear.

On the other side I saw a young girl, 3 / 4 in a shopping centre, she didn't seem to be with anyone so I kept watching for a couple of minutes. Still no one there so I approached her, crouched low and asked her name, was she lost but I had no response. No one came up whilst I was talking to her, so it confirmed she was lost but I didn't want to leave her, couldn't get her to talk and I couldn't take her into a shop or find a security guard. Luckily a lady passing saw us and stopped, she said that she would try as she might know her language. She did, so she talked to the girl and I went to find a security guard. The guard was talking to the mother who had lost a child...

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sat 05-Jan-13 12:22:44

When leaving school late one day with my dcs I found a little girl alone in the playground,a preschooler too little/shy to tell us her name.
The teachers helped me search classrooms and outside gates and no adult was found, I left her with the head & office staff with the thought that she was safe and her parent would check there first.

When I asked next day one of the teachers told me it was a child minder that picked her up.

SoupDragon Sat 05-Jan-13 12:13:02

Even David Cameron left his DD in a pub wink

HollaAtMeBaby Sat 05-Jan-13 12:11:07

I do think people who have children forget that people who don't often aren't tuned into them/don't notice them/don't know what to do or how to talk to them if they find a lost preschooler - it's not always selfishness, often just cluelessness. e.g. I was in a big shop recently when someone brought a lost child of about 3 or 4 to the tills and everyone was sort of nonplussed. The little boy refused to speak at first - I managed to get him to tell me his name after a couple of minutes sitting on the floor and playing with a toy he was clutching but nobody else knew what to do and they were understandably reluctant to announce "if you have lost a small boy, please come and get him" over the tannoy. Similarly, people who aren't used to children would probably not think of grabbing a toddler who's about to get on an escalator unaccompanied, for example.

BlueberryHill Sat 05-Jan-13 12:10:54

edam, DH and I do the same thing, we have three under 5 so it makes sense, although we do shout "[DH name] incoming..." but we always make sure the other one acknowledges that they now have x to look after.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sat 05-Jan-13 11:37:21

similar to OP obviously...

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sat 05-Jan-13 11:35:34

Have had a similar experience on the underground when my ticket wouldn't work after my boys had gone through the barrier at South Ken. Only to be told by one of the staff that he couldn't do anything, my children were my responsibility... hmm

Fortunately my boys stayed where they were while I ran to the other end of the barriers to be let through, they were 4 & 6 yrs old at the time, it was the first time I hadn't carried ds2 through the barrier with me, (he's big for his age & I'm very small).

edam Sat 05-Jan-13 11:29:28

I know, would love the MNer who told me about it to crop up on this thread so I can say a heartfelt 'thank you'!

It's not just parents who lose children either. In infants, ds once managed to slip away from his teacher at hometime and took it into his head to walk home on his own. She thought she'd seen me in the playground... I was sooooo frightened when I realised he wasn't in the playground. We had Very Stern Words about never leaving without the adult he knew was collecting him!

Even now he's in juniors it can still happen - I was up at school for a session on internet safety a few weeks ago. Ds knew I was going in for this but I knew he had an after school club so left school chatting with other Mums at hometime. Ds forgot all about fencing and went into the playground to find me... I only realised when one of his friends came running up as I was walking home to tell me he was in the playground looking for me!

amillionyears Sat 05-Jan-13 11:22:27

That "you have ds/I have ds technique" sounds good.
I had never thought of that, and it is a simple idea.

edam Sat 05-Jan-13 11:22:02

I suspect the very few posters who have been smug and judgmental about this have very young children so have no idea how easy it is for a mobile older child to slip away. They will learn... and hopefully have the good grace to admit they didn't know what they were talking about.

edam Sat 05-Jan-13 11:19:05

Wish I could remember which MNer suggested the pilot 'you have ds/I have ds' technique for making sure you know which parent is in charge of which child - I am very grateful for them telling me about that. Think their dh was a pilot or something. Interested to see a few others use it as well - Raven, I can't imagine how awful it must have been to lose one in York Railway Museum, it is massive and fulll of huge machines, loads of places where a child could be hidden from your view.

ladymariner Sat 05-Jan-13 10:01:18

I lost ds in Primark when he was about 3, most terrifying moment of my life. He was standing next to me as I returned some items, I looked down again and he was gone. Everyone was brilliant, running round looking for him, we eventually found him near the doors.
I told dh what had happened and whilst sympathetic, I got the feeling he felt I should have been more careful. His words came back to bite him on the bum when he was looking after him whilst I paid for things and he lost him in Woollies (I shop at all the best places!!!). Again the staff were amazing, and we found ds stuffing his bag full of goodies at the pick and mix.
So so terrifying, and I simply could not imagine leaving or ignoring someone in the same situation. It's not a case of being neglectful, these things happen in the blink of an eye, and it's only human decency and kindness to try to help.

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 09:33:17

Yes soup if she did not appear to careless. Rereading whoputthedickthesnowman, it was ther bystanders who did not bother not the mum who was clearly terrified. So no of course I would not soup . Sorry misread that post

MerryChristmasEverybody Sat 05-Jan-13 09:05:35

That is awful! I'm glad your son is safe.

I was in a 99p store (presume same company) and saw somebody spray deodrent to see what it smelt like, was then told they'd have to pay for it, they refused and the police were called!

I refuse to shop in the 99p store now and go to poundland

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