ID tags for kids can make real difference

A very simple method can help authorities identify children.

Two St Petersburg boys, ages 6 and 9, are in serious condition at a Tampa Bay area hospital Tuesday night after being hit by a car while riding a bicycle.

State troopers say the boys were hit at 54th Avenue N. near 65th Way in St Pete. The boys, who troopers say are neighbors, were on one bicycle: One was on the seat, the other on the handlebars.

It took hours for troopers to figure out the identity of the boys and find their parents.

But with just one stop at the store and less than $10, every parent can keep their kids safer.

Have you heard of Road IDs? Many parents are now using the popular biking and running wristbands, which display emergency contact information, for their children.

The bands can be found at local bike and running stores. Some retailers carry a local brand called Have the Drive Emergency IDs, which have a hidden pocket for emergency contact information.

St Petersburg parents Sadat Aslanovich and Carolyn Tonge agree that the ID bands could be very helpful. Their 5- and 6-year-old sons are too young to carry phones and say asking their boys to keep track of an ID card isn't an option.

"I think my son would lose it to be honest with you, but if it was a bracelet and maybe a cool blue color I think he would love it," Tonge explained.

Bria Burton at St Pete Running Company says although they haven’t seen many parents coming in to buy the ID bands at their shop, she hopes the trend will catch on.

"The kid won't have to think about it but the parent will have peace of mind," Burton said. Parents can think of it just like putting their children’s clothes and shoes on in the morning, add it to their regular routine to put their child’s ID tag on, too."

An even easier solution: Head to your local pet shop and engrave your child's name and number onto a pet ID tag, then tie onto their sneaker, attach to a zipper or even string it into a necklace.

"We had one set of parents ask us to engrave two heart tags to make into necklaces for an upcoming family trip to Disney," Kathleen Crotts, owner of Bath & Biscuit Pet Boutique explained. "The girls were excited about it because it was actually a little piece of jewelry- little pink and purple hearts. They were excited to wear them but it was also very helpful."

At less than $10 a piece for a pet ID tag, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea. If he is lost someone can locate him and track him back to me or his mom,” added Aslanovich,

“I’d be heartbroken if I lost him — even for a minute.”


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