Nic got his new ID bracelet and Colt is wearing two because his new one also arrived and he doesn’t want to take his old one off. He loves his bracelets.
I get asked about his bracelet a lot. So, here's the reason for the Medical ID bracelet and why I recommend getting one for your little ones.
Wandering, running off, or the clinical term, elopement, can be a frightening and fairly common behavior seen in children with Down syndrome. We have had some scary moments with Colt.
The fact that he loves to meet others, has very little fear and can open locks, buckles, climb gates and every other safety feature, does not put our mind at ease. We are always looking for ways to keep him safe.
After one scary incident we decided to order him an ID Bracelet as added protection should his propensity to wander and run off ever lead to one of our biggest fears, losing him.
Now that Nic is walking we decided it was time for him to have a bracelet of his own. I am still looking into GPS trackers as well, but a Medical ID bracelet is such a simple step we can take to help our boys in a moment of crisis.
Their new bracelets are from American Medical ID who have generously offered to give 10% back on every purchase (5% on Gold) to Reece's Rainbow Down syndrome adoptions, as well as offered 10% off your purchase(5% off gold) when you enter the code “DWONDERFUL”. (Code will be valid for 2 weeks).
Here are a few more tips to help with the frightening issue of running off:
According to "Supporting Positive Behavior in Children and Teens with Down Syndrome; The Respond but Don't React Method" by David S. Stein, children with Down syndrome do not process a lot of words in a moment of disciplining. They process strong emotions, eye contact and facial expressions and seek attention in that way. Bolting can become an attention seeking behavior.
"When you get upset, make lots of eye contact, raise your voice, and make strong facial expressions, your child is likely to experience your reaction as fun... for people with DS who are highly attuned to other people, this is like winning a slot machine- all the lights are flashing and it's entertaining!" (Stein p. 83)
Things to do: 1) Keep your reaction in check. Run after the child to keep him safe, but do not react. Do not use a lot of words or yell or make eye contact. Remain calm.
2) As discussed earlier, ID Bracelets and GPS trackers are an important safety tool for anywhere that you are at, home and away.
3) We have discussed Colt's propensity to wander with our neighbors so that they can be aware of the situation should the boys ever get out. Nic is not a fast enough walker yet, but I am preparing for the possibility of him joining Colt too.
4) We have windows that open from the top and we do not leave them open from the bottom where the boys can reach. Why do I include this? Colt has pushed a chair to the window, popped the screen out and climbed out the window to our backyard. Fortunately, we caught him immediately, but it was a good lesson. No open windows that he can reach or even climb to reach!
5) Add chimes on doors and windows and add locks where they can't be reached. Now that Colt has grown we will be adding more locks in higher locations. We have built extra gates as well, but Colt can climb them.
Hope this has given you some ideas to help keep your child safe. It is constantly a concern of mine, so please share anything that has worked for you!
Have any of you had a scary moment when your child has wandered? Have you found any sort of GPS tracker or safety aids that you like?