It's fair season and that means lots of parents are taking their children out for a day full of fun. But those days can quickly become full of fear if their child goes missing.
The West End Fair has thousands of visitors every day. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has a solution to keep your family safe. It's simple. They're asking to take a picture of your child the same day as the event. If your child goes missing, a photo from two weeks might not help because they need to know what the children are wearing now. Small details like that are often forgotten in panic mode
"Parents or an important person can give us a description of the child and you'd be surprised, in a panic, a parent cannot remember what their child was wearing " said Monroe County Corporal Scott Martin.
He's reminding parents and guardians to take a photo of their child the same day they go to a big event like a fair.. It's frustrating when law enforcement is called to a situation and they don't know who they're looking for. Thankfully there hasn't been any scares this year, but Martin says they get missing child calls about once a day every day of the West End Fair..
"Little Johnny is wearing a black t-shirt. We're roaming around looking for some child in a black t-shirt, turns out he's wearing red or orange because obviously they're in a panic" Martin said.
So we asked some parents if they could identify their children by their clothing without looking at them.
"What are they wearing? He's wearing a black sleeveless shirt and shorts. And she's wearing.....I know she has shorts on. Not sure about the top I think it's pink." said Maria Ortiz.
Ortiz almost had it. But she wasn't the only person who struggled with our pop quiz. She couldn't agree more with this safety precaution.
She said, "To save your child. And have them home safely at the end of the day. Otherwise they get lost. you'll never find them again."
As parents, there's a lot going on. With all the noise and foot traffic, it can happen faster than you realize - especially after a full day.
One woman said, "Yes definitely always distractions. With my kids. Never know one day to the next where they're going to be."
A grandmother with two grandchildren said, "I think it's extremely important for people to be very aware especially nowadays with the things that are going on. Extremely important, say? That's why we hold hands and stay with Nanna."
Corporal Martin also said this is helpful for the elderly in case they wander off without a cellphone. Again, a picture even from yesterday might not help because colors and clothing are much easier to find than faces.