Sunday, February 9, 2014

Come back! Plans to keep runners safe.

Discussion Topic: Plans to keep ‘runners’ safe

Top Recommendations: ID bracelet, GPS tracker, Harness, Holding Hangs.

Continue reading to see the specific question and the full list of ideas.

Bridget asked: As a mother of a 4 year old Autistic runner I deal with the challenges of keeping him safe everyday. Recently, I have wrote up a safety plan that seems to change daily through trial and error. I need your help...what do you have in your safety plan? What products have you found to keep your children safe? Thank you for your help!

A Safety Plan can be described as: A plan of action you use every time that you leave the house with your child. It may include products to use to keep your child safe or a contingency plan in the event that your child gets lost.

Kerri asked: Does he have an Identification bracelet ? My son wears one. Still a runner at 6, but now when I yell "stop" he stops about 90% of the time. That was from ABA taught principles. He was too fast to chase. I have my house locked down like fortress so he cannot leave when I am not looking or asleep. Chain locks and some keyed exits. Also, teaching him to swim was high on my list. I kinda want to GPS chip him. Wonder if that's possible. For parking lots you should be eligible for a handicap placard. Some kids take off in parking lots. I haven't done this yet, but know many who have.

Amanda commented: I am a special education teacher and had a family last year buy safety tags that they attached to their son's shoes and backpack. I think that they may have gone to petco because it is cheap and easy. The tags had their child's name, DOB, phone, address, and said that he has autism and is nonverbal. Just an idea.

Keely mentioned: We have everything for our 4 year old w/ down syndrome who loves to 'elope'. Extra door locks, alarm in a back pack w/ a harness, name tag & phone numbers, etc. She hates the harness, but her 2 year old & 6 year old sisters love it. Not having to wear it, is a big motivator in public. She runs, but is also sneaky and knows how to plan her escapes. My dream is a canine assistant to bring her to a stop. But they all said that 4 is too young. It is exhausting.

Heather suggested: Shoe tags with name, diagnosis, address and phone number. We also use Velcro id bracelet. Check out the National Autistic Association's big red safety box.

Kim said: There a product that has two pieces. One on the child (like a necklace or keytag ) transmitter, and the receiver on the parents. When the child moves out of radius. The alarm goes off to tell the parents.

Misty commented: My county sheriffs dept has a program called project lifesaver. its an ankle bracelet containing a GPS trackable chip. If the child goes missing they can very quickly be located. It also helps kids and deputies to get to know each other in my opinion. So very helpful in an emergency situation!!

Tracey suggested: If your child hates holding your hand, attaching a handle or something to you (your belt, waist or something) giving lots of positive feedback and rewards for doing the right thing and holding on to you. It's hopefully a longer time solution

Jan said: I can assure you it does get easier as they get older. My son with DS is now 29 and he is now my travel buddy. Just he and I head OS on holidays and he is very capable and stays close to me. Unfortunately, he will still not tell me if he is going to the loo. Another suggestion is ID in case of - name and phone number on clothing. On one of my son's independent sight-seeing trips, he walked into the local hospital's ICU. This particular time he didn't have his school bag with him with ID, they checked his clothing then went to the phone book.

Jeannine commented: When my guy was young we ended up turning the deadbolt locks on the doors inside out and we locked ourselves in for a couple of years. My son rode in a double stroller until he was 5 or so and then I just held on tight. Thankfully he wasn't a terrible runner. I would make sure that you contact your local police department and tell them about your runner. I agree that you need to have ID stuff all over him and make him hold on to something on you. I was able to get my guy to hold my pinky finger. Know that you are not alone. For years the scariest words in the English language for me were...Where is Jon?

Jill mentioned: Top locks and alarms on all doors leading outside as well as an alarm on the bedroom door. When out of the home...she is just with us at all times.

Juliana mentioned: Hi, I believe there is a limit to what we can do to keep our ASD kids safe. Talking to neighbours is important so you know you are not the only one looking out for him.time is a big help - typically they calm down and can't be bothered running anywhere (I'm finding that, mine is 12), the more stimulation for his active mind he has at home the less likely he is to run. Also, service dogs can be of much assistance. In summary, the stimulation (hence motivation to stay at home) is the most important factor, I find. Best of luck. Patience, patience...

Tamara mentioned:

Zoe said: We have two runners I harness one and the other is taught to hold hands

Jennifer commented: The harness has made my 3.5 year old son a lot better with holding hands I got one from Amazon with a lion on it – cute.

Tamara said:

Amy thought: We use a lot of the techniques/products mentioned above. But also one more: a temporary "tattoo" from .

Cas said: Here are a couple of GPS trackers to look at: and

For more suggestions on dealing with runners see our previous discussion question:

Other tips on keeping children safe can be found in our Safety category:
If you have your own question to ask, please head over to our Facebook page where you can easily enter your question for discussion by using the Questions tab.


Odd Socks Mummy has been watching too much House MD – she first wrote “A Safety Plan can be diagnosed as...” instead of “described as”!

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