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Mom Finds Lost Toddler Using This Genius TikTok Hack

Photo: Hryshchyshen Serhii / Shutterstock
Mom Finds Lost Toddler Using This Genius TikTok Hack

Nothing makes a parent’s stomach turn quite like losing sight of your child in a public place. 

Even the most attentive parents will know that young kids have a way of getting out of your sight at the worst times. But luckily for this New Zealand mom, a TikTok hack saved the day when her toddler disappeared in a department store. 

The woman was shopping with her 2-year-old son in a Kmart when she realized her son was no longer by her side.

 In a Facebook post about the ordeal, she described losing sight of her son Nathan as the “scariest 10 minutes of my life.” 

She sent a friend to look in the area of the store she had last seen her son and quickly began searching through clothing racks and aisles in the hopes her son was hiding nearby. 

She was calling out his name and searching, as anyone would do in her situation, but quickly remembered a TikTok video she had seen that offered a more effective searching method. 

Speaking about the unlikely parenting hack she told her Facebook friends, “If your child goes missing, screw the stares and start calling out their description.” 

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She said she was fighting back tears and trying to remain focused as she told other shoppers:

"I'm missing a little boy, he's wearing a yellow shirt and has brown hair. He's 2 years old and his name is Nathan."

Instead of trying to search the store alone, she enlisted the help of strangers. “The change in everyone was instantaneous,” she said, “I had every adult around me on alert. They all threw aside what they were looking at and started searching too,” she explained.

Within moments 2-year-old Nathan passed a man who had heard her shouting and he alerted her that her son was found. 

She says that if she hadn’t used the TikTok hack, “Nate would have walked past him and he wouldn't have blinked.”

The TikTok hack came from mom-of-three Jess Martini who makes parenting advice videos on the video-sharing app. 

In a November 2020 video, she stressed the importance of stirring up a commotion if you find yourself searching for your child in public. The idea is that if people know what to look for (i.e. descriptors: red shit, black baseball hat, light-up sneakers), they’ll more easily spot your child.

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Equally, in the worst-case scenario, if someone is trying to take a child, if they know they are more in danger of being spotted if they hear a parent calling out a description that other people will be looking out for rather than just a name. 

“Everyone will be on alert, and if someone is trying to take off with your kid, it will decrease the chances of them getting away,” Jess says in the video.

In her Facebook post, Nathan’s mother echoed the words Martini shared in the video by saying:

“To all parents out there, if your child goes missing, do not search in silence or just call out their name. Shout out loud and clear. Say that they're missing, give a description and repeat, repeat, repeat!”

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a generalist with an interest in lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.