SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Summer is here, and that means families are headed to our parks, beaches and other places for some fun. Sometimes children can get separated from their parents in the blink of an eye. Do your kids know what to do when they get lost?
Pam Medhurst and her pal Simon know that the dog days of summer are filled with a lot of outside activities. That means more chances for kids to wander off and quickly disappear.
So Wednesday morning, Pam, Simon and Wishbone the dog showed up at the Alpine Library with an entertaining and informative message that can make a big difference when it comes to reuniting lost kids with their parents.
"Don't run around, stay found," Simon said.
Pam is a volunteer team leader for sheriff's search and rescue. She says sometimes little kids don't know their last name, so putting that info in a child's pocket can be helpful.
"It's mostly 'What's your parent's name?' 'Mom and dad.' So it's helpful to know the basic phone number so we can get a hold of somebody," Pam said.
More than 20 kids showed up for the program, including 7-year-old Charlotte, who recently lost her mom on a shopping trip.
"We were at the plant store and I couldn't find my mom or my brother, so I got worried and went to the checker and they called my brother up," she said.
Charlotte was only missing for a few minutes, but for parents it sure feels a lot longer.
"You're panicking and wondering where did they go, and it just happens so quickly," Charlotte's mother said.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports 2,100 children are reported missing every day.
"But because we get the message out, kids are found quickly," Pam said.
Pam says besides staying in one place, it's also important to be prepared, especially if you're out on hikes in remote areas.
"We also talk about carrying lots of water, snacks, lots of snacks -- very important for Simon -- and who you can talk to, to feel safe if you did get separated from your family," she said.
People like lifeguards, police, firefighters and store employees.
During the school year, Pam takes her presentation to classrooms all over the county. She offers it free of charge.