D.C. police give tips to parents and children to avoid separation at fireworks show

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Metropolitan Police Department is urging parents coming down to the National Mall for the Fourth of July fireworks display to take precautions to avoid losing their children in the big crowd.

“We always get a couple,” said MPD Chief Cathy Lanier.

Lanier said she recommends parents with children to come down to the Mall early and avoid the last minute rush.

“So we start to see kids separated right then, before the fireworks begin, and now it’s at a time where it’s dusk or dark and so that’s when kids tend to get lost the most.”

And when the show is over, wait for the majority of the crowd to disperse before you start to leave.

Before you come down, the National Park Service recommends taking a a picture on your cellphone of your child in the clothes they are wearing that day. Also, put a laminated card in one of their pockets with your name and contact information.

If a family member is separated, contact any park ranger or police officer on the mall. Any lost person that is found, will be taken to the reunification trailer south of the Washington Monument, between 15th and 17th Streets SW.

Lanier added that while they always get a few lost children each year, “We always reunite them happily, pretty quickly.”