For parents, losing a child in a crowd is a nightmare come true. For a child, it can be downright terrifying and scarring, as well. Thankfully, technology is making it easier to preempt this upsetting situation, as evidenced by a story out of Florida. A mom from Gulf Breeze shared how after Santa bought her two kids smartwatches, it helped her daughter Sophia reunite with her in a crowd.
Ashley Ranow shared a photo of Sophia wearing her Verizon Gizmo Watch on Facebook, writing, "These watches that Santa brought... some thought we were crazy for getting them... We pay a service fee for them monthly through Verizon, but today they already paid off." Ranow explained that the family was at a New Year's Eve "beach ball drop" with a "couple hundred people."
"I lost Sophia in the crowd and in the midst of a little mom panic—my phone rang," she wrote. "'Sophia' is calling 'Mommy.'" Ranow shared that in a "panic voice," her daughter asked, "Where are you?" The bottom line: The watches "just paid for themselves in reassurance," the mom said.
Ranow elaborated on the frightening moment to local news station WEARTV: "I was looking for her and couldn't see her. I immediately reacted how most parents do thinking where are they? When am I going to find them?"
Thankfully, Sophia and her brother knew how to use the watches, because Ranow and her husband had explained "what they could do with and what the purpose of their watches are."
After the pair was reunited, Ranow applauded her daughter's move. "I told her good job! That's what this is for," she said, according to WEARTV.
The Verizon Gizmo Watch, which was included in Parents.com's recent roundup of the safest phones for kids, is popular among parents of younger children as it has parental list of approved contacts, and kids can't lose it as easily because it straps to their wrist, according to Titania Jordan, chief parenting officer of parental-control app Bark. Plus, it's waterproof, up to 10 trusted contacts for two-way voice calls and messaging, and has a GPS locator (although consumers say the GPS is a bit delayed, Jordan points out).
Since sharing on New Year's Eve, the proud mom's post has gone viral, earning over 17K shares. With hope, other parents are inspired to follow in the Ranows' footsteps, offering their children a quick, easy way to stay safe and connected if they're ever lost in a crowd.