Program helps parents find lost kids at Oceanfront

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 18:01:40-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The hotels down at the Oceanfront can look similar to a young child, which doesn't help if they accidentally wander off and can't find their parents.

"She's just having fun. She's got so much energy, she doesn't care what hotel we're staying at," said Virgil Hightower, who is spending time down at the beach with his 6-year-old daughter Victoria. He keeps a close eye on her, but knows she can wander off easily.

That's where the Find-A-Kid program from the Virginia Beach Hotel Association comes in. More than 58 resort area hotels are part of the program, which gives out color-coded wristbands for kids. Parents can get the wristbands from their hotel front desk. Each hotel's wristband is a different color and they all have the hotel name, phone number and address printed on it.

"If she goes wandering off and I can't find her, at least she has on that wristband. They know where she's staying and they can get her back. I think it's a great program," said Hightower.

Deputy Chief Gary Fletch from the Virginia Beach Life Saving Service said the wristbands are great for narrowing down where the children's parents can be. Especially since kids can confuse locations on the beach.

"If parents say stay by the lifeguard stand, well there's 41 of them out here and they're all identical," said Fletch.

For Hightower, he knows Victoria could accidentally wander off quickly.

"It's really scary because it can happen in an instant. You turn around for one minute and cause she has so much energy, she's gone and you're freaking out for half a minute and trying to find her," said Hightower.

The wristbands are meant to be worn daily. Parents can ask the front desk for a new one each morning.