You may know that you need to have a lost child policy for your event, but when was the last time you updated yours? And what did you do with it when you did update it?

Did you communicate it to all staff members? Did you make sure they read and signed it? Did you put procedures in place to ensure its contents were followed? Did you take a copy onsite to communicate with your team at the show?

Or, did you tick that box off in your head and file it away until it’s time to update it again?

Is it robust?

When we run our lost child and adults at risk course, we always start by asking our delegates to describe their lost property procedure. They proceed to describe in depth how they would never hand back a wallet without first seeing ID, same with a mobile phone, always needing proof before returning it. When we ask about their lost child policy the answers are a little vaguer, rarely include a request for ID or proof and generally bank on believing the word of the claimant.

Communication is key

Even if your lost child policy is robust and up to date, have you properly communicated it to your staff?

Especially your security staff?

Afterall, they are likely the first people to encounter a found child at an event.

Do they know your protocols?

Are they prepared to follow your policy.

We have witnessed on so many occasions staff – even staff allocated to the children’s area – who do not know the event’s child policy.

As an organiser it is your duty of care to ensure that a child is properly safeguarded at your event and it is your policy that is designed to ensure that safeguarding occurs according to your careful plan.

While checklists have their place at events, let’s not make the safety of the children in our care one of them.

We urge you to take a look at your policy, update it and communicate it!

We also urge you to consider event-specific safeguarding training for your staff members.

We have never once been at an event where everyone knew the correct procedure for a lost child. Not one. That’s an accident just waiting to happen, so don’t let it be at your event.


The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is a trade body representing the very best contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the UK’s thriving events industry.

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