The mum of a two-year-old boy who got lost inside a Kmart store has recalled how a TikTok trick saved her from the “scariest” 10 minutes of her life.
Sharing her ordeal online, the parent detailed the heart-sinking moment she realised she had been separated from her toddler while at the retailer in the NSW Hunter Region on Saturday.
“One friend ran to the entry immediately and alerted the staff member to not let a boy of his description leave the store. Even if he was with an adult. Another friend searched the area he was last seen,” she wrote on Facebook.
She explained how she instantly began “silently” and “frantically” looking for him - running along aisles, bending to look under clothes racks, and shouting his name periodically.
That was until she remembered a piece of advice that featured in a recent viral TikTok video, sharing a potentially life saving way parents could quickly and efficiently be reunited with their child.
The video detailed how if a child went missing, parents should “screw the stares” and start calling out their description to alert other shoppers.
“I’m missing a little boy, he’s wearing a yellow shirt and has brown hair. He’s two years old and his name is Nathan,” the mum began shouting inside the Kmart store.
After repeating the statement several times and pushing through her tendency to “break down”, the mum noted an “instantaneous” change in the people around her.
“I had every adult around me on alert. They all threw aside what they were looking at and started searching too,” she wrote.
A short time later, she turned an aisle and heard a man proclaim, “he’s here”.
“I turned back the way I came and there he was. A man had walked past him after hearing me calling out,” the relieved mum recalled.
She let out a deep sigh of relief and expressed “a thousand thankyous to the man”.
“If I hadn't have been calling out, that man would have had no clue that I was looking for Nathan. Nate would have walked past him and he wouldn't have blinked,” she said.
The mum urged other parents to engage the same advice if they ever to lose track of their child.
“So 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,” she wrote.
“Say that they're missing, give a description and repeat, repeat, repeat! 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.”
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