SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - No matter where you plan to celebrate this holiday, organizers urge you to take precautions if you have kids with you. You don’t want your children to disappear in a crowd.
A crowd gathered at Washington Park on Tuesday morning for Midtown Historic Neighborhood’s annual Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration, which followed a parade that started at 10 a.m. in the rain. Where this many people gather, organizers say that's when parents and guardians need to take precautions.
It could happen in minutes. One minute you're watching a parade and, the next minute, your kids are gone. That’s why one set of parents have a plan for crowds.
"We have a 9-year-old, a 6-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a lot more,” said Margaret Sherman, a mother of four.
"If they do run off or they do get a little bit farther away from us, it is a deliberate conversation of why now we have to sit around each other and stay close with each other,” said Sherman.
It's also a real concern for Moranda White, a mother of two, who has a different plan.
"I'm a little bit of a helicopter mom; I'm all over it,” said White. "Our plan has always been: where the last place you see me, that's where you come back."
"Talking to your kids about the plan going in is really important,” said event organizer Alia Lee.
Lee says you also have to know where to look at any crowded event.
"If a kid were lost, then we could go up there and we would immediately make announcements and send our volunteers out to find them,” said Lee.
She says there are also extra officers at the event that can help find missing children if anything happens during the celebration. Lee says, in the worst case scenario, you can always call 9-1-1.
Concerned parents can also carry identifying documents, pictures and IDs so you'll have them available if your child disappears.