Several times in the last few weeks I have heard of cases where a stranger finds a kid fine and safe but without their parent and calls 911 instead of just finding the parent.
1. Stroller right outside starbucks. With dog attached on leash! Call 911 or find parent in line?
2. Mom picking up a car seat at an apt building — like a craigslist purchase — and kid is sitting in the car in the parking lot like 20 feet away. Call 911 or ask adult by open door if it’s their kid?
3. This article. (Kid playing at park within view of house)
Comment there from someone at https://www.parentsusa.org/ that I hadn’t heard of before…
“At the National Association of Parents, in radio and press interviews, we have advocated for a triage of calls reporting children alone:
(1) Does the child appear to be hurt?
(2) Does the child appear to be in distress?
(3) Does the child appear to be in imminent danger of harm from an identifiable source of harm?
If the answer to all three questions is “no,” then law enforcement has no business getting involved (other than MAYBE to drive by to confirm that the answer indeed is “no”). Otherwise, the misuse of finite resources and the misapplication of authority becomes routine.”
That’s maybe more than some people can handle… but seems totally reasonable for folks to ask themselves the 3 questions and talk to the kid and/or look for the parent first.