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How To Help Your Lost Child: The Wonnacott Shoe Trick

Call me paranoid, but one of my greatest fears as a mother is losing my child. If you’ve ever been a store, turned your back (for a second), and turned around and suddenly your child is gone (just for a second until you find her), you know of the instant panic that ensues. In a response to this fear, I created the Wonnacott shoe trick. This trick relies on the basic premise that people are good and will help a small child.

The trick is designed for a child who is old enough to understand instructions (about 2 years-old), but too young to remember mom’s name or phone number (until about 4-5 years old): On the inside of every one of my young child’s shoe, I typed a small label (taped in place with clear packing tape) with the following information:

“Please help, I’m lost.

Child: (insert your child’s name)

Parent: (insert parent’s name)

Home Address

Home phone and cell phone

Please call my mommy.”

I was sure to put it on the inside of the shoe, as not to advertise my child’s personal information to potential creepers. I then instructed my small child that if he/she should ever get lost to take off the shoe and give it to a grown up. (Preferably, someone with a name tag who worked at the store, a mommy with lots of kids around her, etc.).  My children have never had to use it (knock on wood), but it brings me a little extra piece of mind.