How the rodeo takes care of children who get lost

HOUSTON – It’s a nightmare for so many parents. Losing your child in a sea of thousands of people.

It’s something that happens every day at the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo. As more and more families try to flock to NRG park before rodeo season wraps up, staff members say their busiest days are ahead.

Just like there’s a lost a found for your keys, there’s a lost and found for your kids. It’s located on the first floor of the NRG Center between halls A and B and today we found out just how much it’s needed.

“It’s the worst feeling in the world, just to know that you are supposed to be responsible for this person’s well-being and in the blink of an eye they could disappear,” said a parent named Shane Diaz.

“This year alone, we’ve had 124 lost children on site. We have a 100% return rate of course so that’s great, said Sharon Garrett, Chairman of the Directions and Assistance Committee. She says this Wednesday morning was the busiest for reuniting lost children with parents at the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo this season.

“We had a shift from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 40 people on staff here today and they had 22 lost children, just today,” she said.

“That’s not anything that any parent wants. I’ve thought about it like, I’m always on him. Like don’t wander off man,” said another parent named Armando Rivera about his 6-year-old son.

Staff recommends before families enjoy the rodeo, they stop and get a green wristband.

“We ask them to put their name and phone number on here (band) and we can secure that to the child,” Garrett said.

Lost and found staff say if you do happen to get separated, make sure your child knows to look for law enforcement or staff wearing a teal vest.

“We are approachable so that we don’t scare any children and we’ve all been trained on what to do,” Garrett said.

While kids wait to be reunited with loved ones, they wait in a safe space, watch a movie, play with toys and get a light hypoallergenic snack.

“Extremely important, especially during an event like this and it’s spring break. A lot of kids here so you need to be very aware of where your kids are,” Rivera said.

The Lost and Found area is open daily until the fairgrounds close at midnight. The number is 832-667-1312.

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