My first born daughter was one of those kids quick to run off to this or that, and when my second was born, I couldn’t always keep up with her.  She ran off at a Long Island mall food court and scared me out of my mind.  (After 5 harrowing minutes of searching for her and being “thisclose” to closing down Roosevelt Field, I spied her in a corner table.)  Anyways, I decided there and then to get one of those telephone-cord-like leashes to keep her close.  I’d velcro one end on the stroller, and the other around her wrist.  It was awkward because her wild and roaming spirit was reined in, and since she wasn’t too happy about it, gave her baby sister more grief.  But after awhile, I have to admit, it grew tiresome; I didn’t like having my daughter chained to me or the stroller, and it eventually was removed, and lost somewhere in the house.  Thereafter, I kept my oldest right at my side with positive reinforcement mixed in with some hefty negatives (like, no PowerPuff Girls for a week).   

I was reminded of this when I saw the promotional materials for something called, SafetyTat, a barcode stickon for kids.  It uses “cutting-edge smart phone technology” to create a QR code (those black squares you see in magazines that your phone can scan, and thus bring up a web page or other information). QR means, I learned, “quick response” and it’s defined as a two-dimensional barcode readable by smart phones with a camera. 

New QR SafetyTat for Quick Response

It was invented by a mom who experienced feeling outnumbered by her three children at an amusement park.  With a ballpoint pen, she wrote her mobile number on each of children’s arms, and carefully explained the importance of staying close to mom and dad.  She also told them that if they were separated, the number on their arm was a way to reconnect with them. Throughout the day, the number had to be rewritten due to being smeared or washed off.  And, so the SafetyTat was born.  It can include emergency and medical information like allergies and phone numbers for grandparents, friends, etc.

And, just in case you were  wondering about this stickon tattoo coming off, “the peel-and-stick tattoos cannot be readily removed, peeled or smeared, are waterproof and will last up to two weeks on the skin.”

At first glance, it seemed a bit cold to put a computer code on our kids, but I have to think back to that day, lunchtime at a crowded mall, when my kid was missing for five L-O-N-G minutes.  All I can say is “great idea,” and maybe you can add a way to track the child if they were, in fact, taken. 

For more information on the SafetyTats, you can go on their website: