A mom revealed that a TikTok video helped her find her young son after he went missing in Kmart.
The woman, who lives in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, was shopping when she lost track of the 2-year-old boy, whose name is Nathan.
After the mom’s friend alerted a staff member of the situation and asked them not to let anyone fitting Nathan’s description leave the store even if he was with an adult, she silently searched clothing racks and called out his name every once in a while.
That’s when she remembered the advice that she saw on TikTok earlier.
“Do not start silently looking for them … start shouting their description while you look,” the TikToker, whose name is Jess Martini, explained in her viral video shared in November 2020.
The scared mother did just that. Instead of calling her child’s name, she described him to anyone who would listen.
“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,” she said, according to the New Zealand Herald.
She said that the change in everyone around her was “instantaneous” after she changed the way she was calling for help.
“You need people to understand you loud and clear,” she said. “I had every adult around me on alert. They all threw aside what they were looking at and started searching too.”
That’s when a man located the missing boy. His mother said he would never have known what to look for if he hadn’t heard the child’s description.
“So to all parents out there, if your child goes missing, do not search in silence or just call out their name,” she explained.
In the viral TikTok, Martini further explained that if your child has been taken, it’s likely the kidnapper would give up at that point because they “don’t want that sort of commotion.”
Commenters doubled down on her advice — and offered some of their own.
“Don’t be ashamed or worried about being judged because maaaaaaan I would drop everything to help a stranger look for their kid,” one user said.
“May sound a little crazy but I told my daughter that the automatic door at the grocery store would eat her if she left with anyone else but me,” another wrote.
“When I worked in retail, one of the security guys told me to always remember the shoes. If a child is stolen they usually don’t change the shoes,” a third shared.
If you found this story interesting, read more about an influencer’s tale of a near-kidnapping.
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