We immediately imagine the worst. When you lose sight of a young child, in a crowd or even in a deserted place, the human reflex is to panic, before starting to run in all directions, screaming his name. A visceral reaction but certainly not the most effective, when the situation deserves calculation and calm. For Le Figaro Madame, Maxime Bonnet, sea rescuer at the National Society for Sea Rescue (SNSM), and Nassima Djebli, lieutenant-colonel and spokesperson for the national gendarmerie, give the first reflexes to adopt to keep your cool and quickly find your child.

Before getting agitated in all directions, the most productive means of research is to seek help. If you are in a busy place such as a beach, it is better to go to rescuers, in any other place, do not hesitate to join the nearest gendarmerie. According to Nasima Djebli, the authorities have “surveillance cameras, drones, trained dogs, patrols by bicycle, on horseback or on foot who know the area very well”. Lifeguard Maxime Bonnet is also reassuring: “We are used to looking for children on the beach. And the faster the alert is given, the more the search perimeter will be restricted.

In order to give the maximum of “marbles” to the authorities in the search for the child, the parents can also prepare a photo or a precise description of the young person. Height, age, hair color, clothes, etc. So many details that will help locate the missing toddler.

Find more tips on the next page

On the other hand, it is not advisable to touch the child’s belongings that have remained close to the parents: they can be an asset in the search. “They make it possible to know what he took with him to better identify him and possibly understand if he left hastily by abandoning his activities”, specifies Maxime Bonnet. In the case of further searches, they will also be needed by police sniffer dogs.

Unpleasant to have the sun in your eye, and the feeling of burning in the sun? The child also felt it, and that is why it is more likely that he left in a direction with his back to the sun. Once the authorities or the emergency services have been alerted, nothing prevents the parents from following this lead. If, however, the youngster has gotten lost in an area he knows, he may have been tempted to join a place or a usual play area.

Find the latest tip on the next page

Horror: what if the young fugitive had gone alone to a water point? The sea, the river, the swimming pool… So many danger zones for a young child. However, Maxime Bonnet recalls that: “children who get lost do not always have the reflex to go into the water. In addition, the visibility and mobility of the parents will be better on the edge.